March 5, 2021
Facebook user data

Facebook Begins Notifying Individual Users of Data Mining

Starting today, individuals will learn if their Facebook user data was part of the estimated 87 million mined by Cambridge Analytica and other firms…

Cambridge Analytica wasn’t the only firm to grab-up Facebook user data. It turns out CubeYou did much the same. The customer profiling and trend measurement software company also mislead Facebook users with quizzes labeled “for non-profit academic research.” CubeYou sold that information to marketers, as well. Facebook states it has suspended the company while the social network conducts an investigation. Here’s part of a CNBC report about it:

“The CubeYou discovery suggests that collecting data from quizzes and using it for marketing purposes was far from an isolated incident. Moreover, the fact that CubeYou was able to mislabel the purpose of the quizzes — and that Facebook did nothing to stop it until CNBC pointed out the problem — suggests the platform has little control over this activity.”

However, Facebook disputes the assertion. It states it can exercise proper oversight of third-party apps. But, it cannot control the mislabeling of information.

Facebook User Data Mining Disclosure Notifications going Out

Today, individual Facebook users affected by the information mining will be notified. In the U.K. affected users will receive a message from Facebook with details about what information was shared. 

As for CubeYou, it states right on its website that it uses census data, along with various web and social apps on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, to collect personal information. In fact, CNBC reports the following about the company:

“On a cached version of its web site from March 19, it also said it keeps age, gender, location, work and education, and family and relationship information. It also has likes, follows, shares, posts, likes to posts, comments to posts, check-ins and mentions of brands/celebrities in a post. Interactions with companies are tracked back to 2012 and are updated weekly.”

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is undergoing coaching to better present himself before Congress.