Up to 87 million people may have had their personal information taken from Facebook, its chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer wrote in a blog post. Previous estimates thought just over 50m users had been affected by Cambridge Analytica accessing data.
Most of the 87m people whose data was shared with the political consultancy, which worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, were in the United States, he added. A total of 70,632,350 users in the US were affected while 1.79m users were in the UK.
Rep. Kathy Castor: You are collecting personal information on people who do not even have Facebook accounts, isn't that right?
Mark Zuckerberg: "Congresswoman, I don't think that that's what we are tracking." https://t.co/YEO8X4WKwV pic.twitter.com/rZfVf5XYBu
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 11, 2018
Mr.Schroepfer did not detail how Facebook came to determine the higher estimate of 87m users affected. He said Facebook would tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook is taking steps to restrict the personal data available to third-party app developers, he added. From Monday, 9 April, Facebook users will be given a link at the top of their news feed so they can see what apps they use and the information they have shared with those apps.
As part of that process, people will be told if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. The largest social media company in the world – with a billion users – has seen its shares plunge as it faces anger from users, advertisers, and politicians after a series of “fake news”, election-meddling and privacy scandals.
Senator Dick Durbin presses Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on personal privacy during Tuesday's Senate hearing pic.twitter.com/xEiyW6FFMP
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 10, 2018
Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will testify over the matter next week before the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, “regarding the company’s use and protection of user data” the panel said on Wednesday.
Facebook is currently facing investigations by authorities in the US, UK, and EU over a reported data incident between itself and consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Following allegations that data belonging to its users was harvested by Cambridge Analytica, the company’s senior executives have been summoned to appear before MPs in the UK and Congress in the US.
Following today's announcement by Facebook, we feel it's important to clarify what data we licensed.https://t.co/sqBEiJWhH7
— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) April 4, 2018
Mr. Zuckerberg has accepted the US invite, the committee confirmed on Wednesday, stating: “This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online.”
“We appreciate Mr. Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify before the committee, and we look forward to him answering our questions on April 11th.”
Mr. Zuckerberg has so far resisted calls from the British government to face its digital committee over the data leak, which includes allegations about the site being used to influence the EU Referendum.
Facebook shares were down 1.4% on Wednesday to $153.90. They are down more than 16% since the Cambridge Analytics scandal broke on 19 March.