Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Personal Data Security Scandal of Facebook

Recently, Facebook is involved in a serious scandal that reveals how Facebook deal with its users’ personal information. As you may know, Facebook sold over 50 million users’ personal information to a data analysis firm called Cambridge Analytica without their consents. Despite they claim this practice for academic research, Cambridge Analytica has no relation to any academic organizations. What’s more, its focused field is how data would influence the electoral process which allows people to assume the Trump’s presidential election can be manipulated by certain people through posting biased advertisements to Facebook users. To gather more personal data, the personality quiz on Facebook allows Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to have more detailed personal information under the unwittingness of Facebook users. After this disclosure, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to take further steps in protecting its users’ privacy.


Many Facebook users are deleting their accounts as a response to this scandal. As a MIS student, would you think the cyber security topic will be the standing one in the future? Or do you think it is the top topic alreay?


3 Responses to Personal Data Security Scandal of Facebook

  • As someone who works professionally with Facebook and other social media for paid advertising services, I can tell you that Facebook has been primarily a data company from its first beta at Harvard. Unfortunately, users willingly (though often inexplicitly) surrender some of their personal data to Facebook and many other “free” websites when they sign up.

    This data is then provided for advertisers via Facebook Business Manager. This is what pays the bills for Facebook so they cater to these companies before users. It’s almost scary how granularly I can target users with advertisements. I think this “scandal” will be the first of MANY from Facebook and other large companies as our personal data becomes more and more important but less and less secure.

    If you don’t pay to use a product/service, you are the product.

  • As a user of Facebook for many years, the CA scandal may be the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I have known for years about Facebook’s data mining and to a degree, I was ok with it. I thought my information was being anonymized. I didn’t realize the extent of the data being collected. Facebook needs to better protect the data of their users. I understand it is a free service and that our interaction with Facebook is valuable to the company, but the granularity at which data is collected and what was given our to researchers and then ultimately Cambridge Analytics is so great that it can easily be manipulated to extract personal information that can be used for nefarious activities. I haven’t deleted my account yet. I plan on downloading the data Facebook has made available to see what I can find.

  • Prior to this scandal, I had an idea that Facebook was collecting all of our data. Exactly like what Frank said, when you sign up for a free service there has to be other ways it makes its revenue. The obvious one is advertisements and the one most people seem to forget is our personal data. What is surprising to me is the amount of people that are unaware of this before the CA released this information. But the most interesting part for me is to see what kind of data Facebook is retrieving from users. I think cyber security is starting to become a major topic due to all the data and security breaches and news like this. It’s a matter of time before people will care about their information and find ways to make it secure as possible.

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