Facebook is the most popular social network site. It is used by millions of people in India. The Facebook data leak was first reported in 2015 and this was also brought up in the US Presidential campaign in 2016. In 2013, a professor of Cambridge Analytica, namely Alexender Kogan, created an app called ‘This Is Your Digital Life’. Kogan misused this app by acquiring the data of users and users’ friends too.
In 2014, Facebook changed its rules for apps on data sharing. A developer supposedly could not access a user’s data without their permission. In December 2015, the Guardian reported that the data of users has been used by Cambridge Analytica was helping in the Presidential campaign in the US to which Facebook replied that they had banned Cambridge Analytica and Kogan and had asked them also to delete the data of users.
In March 2018, newspapers like the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica had leaked the data of Facebook users. They revealed that the data of 50 million users had been used to help Trump’s Presidential campaign. Christopher Wylie revealed that Cambridge Analytica exploited Facebook by targeting their users. They also claimed that Cambridge Analytica planted fake news. Facebook then announced that it was suspending Cambridge Analytica from their platform.
On March 19, 2018, Facebook stated that the claims of Cambridge Analytica will be examined independently by the auditors. Later, the UK Parliament asked Mark Zuckerberg to testify before them as they were not satisfied with the answers given by him. On March 21, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg himself admitted that Cambridge Analytica had misused the data. After that, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton also joined the call to #DeleteFacebook.
In India, Union Minister RS Prasad also said that such things would not be tolerated. This breach of user data raises many questions about consumer protection. Deleting facebook would be like shutting down a market which is a very crowded place. It may be dangerous to enter it but people nonetheless will do so in search of other things.