Majority of U.S. Facebook users say their personal data is unsafe; class action lawsuit is filed
On the day that Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the Senate, a CBS News/YouGov survey was released that shows what American Facebook users are thinking about the social network following the Cambridge Analytica revelations. To recap very briefly, it appears that 87 million Facebook profiles were used by consulting firm Cambridge Analytica without permission, possibly violating a consent decree that Facebook signed with the FTC back in 2011. The FTC is investigating.
According to a survey of U.S. based Facebook users, 63% believe that their personal data is unsafe and is disseminated to third parties that they don't choose. And it seems that Americans aren't too optimistic about what the future holds for Facebook. 61% of those surveyed say that they do not have much confidence in Facebook's ability to come up with a way to protect personal data. 70% believe that Facebook won't be able to devise a way to stop the use of fake accounts, and 69% expect viewing disinformation to remain a part of the Facebook experience.
As Zuckerberg is set to testify to the Senate today and the House tomorrow, you should hear plenty of calls for the government to regulate social media. 61% of those surveyed agree. One interesting survey result shows that a whopping 80% were not surprised to hear that personal data was obtained by a third party company. With only 46% expressing major concern about other companies getting their hands on their personal data (40% are somewhat concerned), it remains to be seen how hard Facebook will be spanked by lawmakers.
Meanwhile, U.S. and U.K. lawyers have teamed up to file a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group and Global Science Research Ltd. Also named in the suit is Russian-American Aleksandr Kogan, who allegedly turned over personal data from Facebook accounts to Cambridge Analytica without consent of the account owners. The suit claims that personal data belonging to 1 million Facebook users in the U.K., and 70.6 million users in the U.S., was improperly obtained by third party companies without permission.