Why Facebook users’ data obtained by Cambridge Analytica has probably spun far out of reach

The data on millions of Facebook users that a firm wrongfully swiped from the social network probably has spread to other groups, databases and the dark Web, experts said, making Facebook’s pledge to safeguard its users’ privacyhard to enforce. Paul-Olivier Dehaye, a privacy expert and co-founder of PersonalData.IO suspects the data has already proliferated far beyond Cambridge Analytica’s reach. “It is the whole nature of this ecosystem,” Dehaye said. “This data travels. And once it has spread, there is no way to get it back.” Frank Pasquale, a professor at the University of Maryland who specializes in algorithms and tech ethics, called this “the runaway data problem,” and said there is no way to return the genie to the bottle when it comes to securing data that has been released. Location and demographic information, which was taken from Facebook, can often be used to tie someone to other data points where the identity was previously unclear.


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