Facebook data scandal affected 2 billion users

Facebook Inc. said data of nearly all its 2 billion users could have been accessed by "malicious actors" through taking advantage of search tools on its platform. 

The company has admitted that they have not done enough to protect users data, and now they have removed a Facebbok's search feature that let users enter phone numbers or email addresses to find other people. This search technique was exploited by malicious actors to scrape public profile information. 

 “Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way,” the company said. “So we have now disabled this feature.”

Initially, the company has revealed that Cambridge Analytica might have accessed the data of as many as 87 million people, most of them in the U.S. But, now they have admiited that all of its users were affected by this scandal. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the press, “It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough. We didn’t focus enough on preventing abuse and thinking through how people could use these tools to do harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, hate speech, in addition to developers and data privacy.”

 Zuckerberg added that they did not have a broad enough idea of their responsibility towards users and “that was a huge mistake.”

Zuckerberg said, “We wanted to take a broad view that is a conservative estimate. I am quite confident that given our analysis that it is not more than 87 million. It very well could be less, but we wanted to put out the maximum we felt that it could be as that analysis says.”

Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before a Congress on April 10 to discuss Facebook’s role in society and users’ privacy.