Is Mark Zuckerberg headed back to Capitol Hill? A new Facebook data leak happened due to a popular personality quiz on Facebook. The data was exposed on a vulnerable website, according to an investigative report from New Scientist.
Users of this app were encouraged to share intimate and personal details. These included the results of a psychological test. The app was called myPersonality. From there, academics employed by the University of Cambridge transferred this information to a website with “insufficient security provision.” The data remained stored there for four years. For the duration of the four years, outside parties were able to access this data very easily.
People who were able to view this data had very personal details about them such as “conscientiousness, agreeableness and neuroticism.” On top of that, the app gathered data from “22 million status updates from over 150,000 users, alongside details such as age, gender and relationship status from 4.3 million people.”
Per The Hill:
In addition to the personality quiz results, the data also included a user’s age, gender, location and status updates. This information could’ve been used to re-identify a user, even if the individual’s name was scrubbed, New Scientist found.
To view the myPersonality data, one would have only needed to register as “a collaborator” on the project.
More than 280 people from roughly 150 institutions signed up as collaborators, including people working for tech companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, according to the report.
The credentials to the website were also floating around on the internet.
“For the last four years, a working username and password has been available online that could be found from a single web search. Anyone who wanted access to the data set could have found the key to download it in less than a minute,” the investigation found.
Just last month Facebook suspended the app myPersonality from their platform. New Scientist, the data watchdog of the UK, is now doing a deep dive into an investigation of the issue.
This is after as many as 50 million Facebook users had their personal data compromised without their permission before the 2016 election by Cambridge Analytica.
— John Rockett (@rockett_iv) May 14, 2018
So did you delete your Facebook account, like I warned you should? >>> Huge new Facebook data leak exposed intimate details of 3 million users – True PunditTrue Pundit https://t.co/71a4WsGCsn
— SaltyQTrumpenhofer (@Salty_Chad) May 14, 2018
Reminder that any time you read the words “Facebook” and “leak” in the same article, it’s generally more accurate to swap out “leak” for “sold”
FB has used their influence to change the story… but the data wasn’t stolen… it was sold.
— Harrison Greene (@Harry0164) May 14, 2018
Let’s coin a new word: data spill!
3 million Facebook users affected by new data leak: report https://t.co/DaiTu2j00y
— andyJSDᴇᴄᴇᴘɪᴅᴀ🍁 (@aJSDecepida) May 14, 2018