Nearly 3 million people in Kentucky and Indiana affected by Face - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Nearly 3 million people in Kentucky and Indiana affected by Facebook data breach

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Facebook released a state-by-state breakdown Tuesday of how many of its users were affected by a recent data breach involving Cambridge Analytica. 

Facebook admits more than 70 million U.S. users had information shared. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said 1.3 million Kentuckians were affected, more than 25 percent of the state's population, had information shared with the third party. Indiana had 1.6 million users affected, which is the 13th highest in the country.

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the U.S. Senate about the data breach. He said in 2013, Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app called "This Is Your Digital Life." Three-hundred-thousand Facebook users installed the app, which Facebook says gathered data like political beliefs, their friend lists and even private messages.

University of Louisville Associate Professor and Cybersecurity Lab Director Roman Yampolskiy said sharing data from apps is a common practice.

"It's standard business procedure for Facebook to share data with third parties," Yampolskiy said. "They use it to advertise, for research purpose. What made this unusual is it was used for political profile and advertising."

Zuckerberg said the data was later shared in 2015 with Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm. The firm was hired by the Donald Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Facebook demanded the firm and Kogan delete all of the information, but the social media giant learned earlier this year they might not have deleted it.

"To think you can actually delete a data set permanently is naive," Yampolskiy said. "Data is always permanent. It's stored somewhere else. Someone else has access to it. There's a backup."

Yampolskiy said the firm most likely used the data to know how to target political ads during election years.

"If I know you are liberal, I don't have to waste my money on advertising Hillary [Clinton] to you," he said about the firm's possible thoughts.

Facebook has announced several steps to prevent more data breaches including auditing apps with suspicious activity. Facebook will also further restrict developer's data access to prevent other kinds of abuse. The site we will remove developer's access to your data if you haven't used their app in three months. 

"To prevent this from ever happening again, we're making sure developers can't access as much information going forward," Zuckerberg said in his U.S. Senate hearing.

In April, Facebook placed an alert on user's time line if they were at risk of being breached. Users can see exactly what apps use their data by going to settings and clicking on apps and websites. This will show which apps have access to data and which apps used to have access to personal data.

If you are unsure if your data was shared, go to the Facebook Help Center, search “Cambridge Analytica” and click “How to know if my data was shared with Cambridge Analytica.”

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