Recently, New Scientist has revealed a report stating that users’ data of over 3 million Facebook users that were mined by Cambridge University academics was publicly available for download for years. The data was collected by a quiz called myPersonality quiz asking Facebook users to log in with their Facebook credentials.
The data of the compromised users’ was not only shared with the Cambridge researchers, but the whole bundle of data was available publicly for anyone wanting to access it. According to New Scientist, for four years, the credentials needed to access the data were available on GitHub.
The myPersonality app was last updated in 2016 and when Facebook witnessed that it has accessed the “Big Five” personality scores of 3.1 million users, and 2 million status updates from 150,000+ users, and relationship status from 4.3 million people, the social media giant suspended the app on April 7.
The people behind the data sets were David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski of the University of Cambridge’s The Psychometrics Centre. According to David Stillwell, California-based social media giant’s Menlo Park campus was already aware of the program since at 2011. Also, the man behind the 2014 Cambridge Analytica scandal - “This Is Your Digital Life” app, Alexandr Kogan is listed as being associated with the myPersonality project until 2014, though it never shared any kind of information with Cambridge Analytica.