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Facebook sends privacy alerts to affected users

AP  |  Washington 

has begun alerting some users that their data was swept up in the scandal.

was one of many people who woke up Tuesday morning to a notification on his feed informing him that "one of" his friends used to log into a now-banned personality quiz app called "This Is Your Digital Life."

The notice says the app misused the information, including public profile, page likes, birthday and current city, by sharing it with the firm

"Anybody can be taken by this," said Bagnetto, 38, a who lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and said he didn't blame whichever of his friends took the quiz for exposing his data.

"It shouldn't take the pressure off Facebook because people cannot be expected to be that aware of what they're signing up for," Bagnetto said.

As many as 87 million users who might have had their data shared were supposed to get the detailed message on their feeds starting Monday.

Facebook says more than 70 million of the affected users are in the US, though there are over a million each in the Philippines, and the UK.

The notifications began appearing hours before Facebook was scheduled to address the scandal in a congressional hearing today.

said he wasn't too surprised to receive the notification, since he has about 5,000 Facebook friends and it would have taken just one of them to take the personality quiz.

But it still bothered West, who directs the at the Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm affiliated with Donald Trump's successful presidential campaign, obtained users' data through an app that was purportedly a research tool.

"It disturbs me that some of my information may have helped become president, even if I was only one of 87 million," West said.

"I do think it mattered, just because it was information that was so detailed. It was providing a gold mine for the candidates who use it. It allowed them to target their advertising very effectively and really hone their message."


whistleblower previously estimated that more than 50 million people were compromised by the personality quiz that collected data from users and their friends. In an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Wylie said the true number could be even larger than 87 million.

That Facebook app was created in 2014 by an named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it.

The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also - thanks to Facebook's loose restrictions - data from their friends, including details that they hadn't intended to share publicly.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 10 2018. 23:45 IST
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