Things are not always what they seem to be so it is important to keep an eye open toward possible threats. Unfortunately, social media platforms and other places that ask for personal information can’t always be trusted.
We’re living in a time when personal data is apparently worth more than gold. Unscrupulous data miners have no problem getting as much data as they can about you and making money with your information. A lot of money.
Millions of people have been affected by shady data schemes that generate big dollars so it can be estimated that millions of dollars are entering the hands of scandalous people.
Unfortunately greed and promises of money test the hearts of men that are supposed to be trustworthy pillars of society. When the desire for riches outweighs the desire to be a person of integrity so-called great men and women fall prey to the lure of a paycheck at the expense of unsuspecting people like you.
On March 17, 2018, it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm, had collected the user data of over 50 million Facebook users. However, Facebook has now reported that the number of users affected is actually 87 million. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is under heat for the social media platform’s soft data sharing rules that some claim made all of this possible.
SpyFly provides a solution for people who want to stay wise about their own information. It is a simple, easy way to make sure that you are not being duplicated and can help to protect you from costly problems due to data breaches.
The data breach story is ongoing. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Cambridge Analytica?
Cambridge Analytica is a London-based firm that’s a subsidiary of the SCL Group. According to the company’s mission statement, Cambridge Analytica works with governments, NGOs, and political campaigns “to deliver Data-Driven Behavioral Change by understanding what motivates the individual and engaging with target audiences in ways that move them to action.”
USA Today claims the company is known for its involvement in the elections of developing nations, including “taking credit for helping to re-elect Kenya’s president.”
This sounds a lot like a firm somewhere in London is obtaining data from the general public in order to generate an outcome that they desire. What they are saying is they use your data in order to get a reaction from you that will result in the outcome that they want. People pay money for these outcomes.
When they say “targeted audiences” they are talking about you. The ways they “target” you are by obtaining and using your information. The things you are interested in, your likes, your reactions, your friends, and your posts. Creepy, right?
How did Cambridge Analytica collect user data?
On Friday, March 16, Facebook vice president and deputy general counsel Paul Grewal published a message on the company’s blog. Grewal stated that the SCL Group, along with Cambridge Analytica, had been suspended from Facebook for not deleting the data of Facebook users back in 2015. The data was apparently garnered via an app created by the University of Cambridge professor Aleksandr Kogan. The UK-based researcher collected the data in question when 270,000 users downloaded a psychology quiz app that requested access to their personal data. The shared data included names, profile information, likes, comments, shares, and more.
This tells you that whenever you agree to the games, and the apps that become available to you on Facebook, or other platforms you may be unwittingly agreeing to share all and any information with the developer. When you use a game or anything that asks you to agree to share your friend’s list, or your likes, or anything you could be putting yourself at risk to be manipulated by corrupt firms that want to exploit you for their own financial gain.
How was this mess brought to light?
Christopher Wylie, the co-founder of Cambridge Analytica who left in 2014, revealed to the Observer documents that showed how the duplicitous company infringed on people’s privacy.
What does this have to do with the 2016 U.S. elections?
Last October, Wired reported that Cambridge Analytica began working for the Trump campaign and a Trump-affiliated Super PAC under Trump’s digital director, Brad Parscale, and Parscale said that it provided data analysis on voters. Steve Bannon, who was the chief executive of Trump’s 2016 campaign, previously held the positions of vice president and secretary of Cambridge Analytica. According to the Washington Post, Jared Kushner initiated the campaign’s digital department with Brad Parscale.
In May 2017, Kushner stated:
“We found that Facebook and digital targeting were the most effective ways to reach audiences.”
Facebook’s response to the Cambridge Analytica Scandal
At first, it was silent. Nobody from Facebook had anything to say for a short time. Later came a statement from Mark Zuckerberg followed by a few privacy changes, which include restricting third-party app access and deleting phone call and text information that is over a year old.
In the past, Facebook provided a feature that allowed users to search for a profile using a phone number or personal email. But, in light of this data scandal, this will no longer be a thing.
Another practice that was supposedly revoked a few years ago is the policy regarding third-party apps. At the time, Facebook allowed apps to request the data of users who downloaded the apps and those users’ friends, impacting a much larger group of people.
Use Common Sense When Sharing Information Online
Because of dangers that go along with misused data always be sure to cover yourself. Use your common sense when you provide personal information. If it seems like something that could end up being a problem in the future, just pass it up and stay safe. If there is an app or a game that asks information from you that seems unnecessary, it probably is and would be safer to not allow your info to be shared. Not all platforms are unsafe, and not all people are dangerous, but unfortunately, it only takes one bad one to cause a whole lot of problems. SpyFly is an honorable solution to provide the tools you need to stay safe. Your information is safe, and you can rely on the information you get to give you true facts about the things that matter most.
SpyFly was founded with the mission of making it safe and easy for people to find and learn the truth about each other online. By providing our members fast, easy and affordable access to public records, members can quickly make informed decisions about individuals they interact with. SpyFly provides searches for active warrants, driving records, arrest records, sexual predators and offenders, and several other public record information searches all in one place to keep you, your family, co-workers, and loved ones safe.