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Researchers Reportedly Exposed Facebook Quiz Data On 3 Million Users (newscientist.com) 19

According to a report from New Scientist, researchers exposed quiz data on over three million Facebook users via an insecure website. The data includes answers to intimate questionnaires, and was held by academics from the University of Cambridge's Psychometrics Centre. While the breach isn't as severe as the Cambridge Analytica leak, it is distantly connected as the project previously involved Alexandr Kogan, the researcher at the center of the scandal. From the report: Facebook suspended myPersonality from its platform on April 7 saying the app may have violated its policies due to the language used in the app and on its website to describe how data is shared. More than 6 million people completed the tests on the myPersonality app and nearly half agreed to share data from their Facebook profiles with the project. All of this data was then scooped up and the names removed before it was put on a website to share with other researchers. The terms allow the myPersonality team to use and distribute the data "in an anonymous manner such that the information cannot be traced back to the individual user."

However, for those who were not entitled to access the data set because they didn't have a permanent academic contract, for example, there was an easy workaround. For the last four years, a working username and password has been available online that could be found from a single web search. Anyone who wanted access to the data set could have found the key to download it in less than a minute.

Researchers Reportedly Exposed Facebook Quiz Data On 3 Million Users

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  • by marcle ( 1575627 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @06:24PM (#56611306)

    Facebook is a very good example of the tragedy of the commons. For any individual user, the convenience of using Facebook outweighs any possible drawbacks. For society in general, the very fact that so many people use Facebook, and their data is up for grabs, is a big problem.

  • Melania Trump has been hospitalized for a benign kidney condition. Speculation at this point is that her kidney was frightened so badly by proximity to Donald Trump's penis that it temporarily shut down.
  • In the era of corporate cancerism, of course the cancers grow toward their 'blood' supplies. Soulless inhuman machines programmed to seek profit will always try to increase profits by doing more of whatever is generating profit.

    In religious terms: "There is no gawd but Profit and Apple is Profit's #1 prophet."

    However Facebook has a dream. It wants to become a much larger cancer so that it can swallow Apple, too. Same sick dream as each and every other corporate cancer. They are not programmed to worry about death of the host society.

    Facebook's economic model is to capture your time by exploiting your social instincts to like other people. Family members? Friends? Partisan political sympathizers? Whatever. As long as you trust them enough to spend more time on Facebook, the profit seems to increase. Damn the torpedoes, and full speed ahead on the creative accounting.

    Solution? Change the economic model, but I've already written my thoughts on how. Let's hear your better idea! Just kidding. On today's Slashdot I have to expect a flood of snark with perhaps a delayed flow of actual thought.

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      I'm not sure if you wanted a real solution, but increased corporate taxation (of course they'll find loopholes, but let them struggle for it like us schmucks), stock exchange transaction microtax, and removal of the stupid "personhood for eternity" construct would be a good start.

      Of course, no one is bound here on "tea-party slashdot".

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        I agree with you about the transaction tax, but I think you can't say why. My elevator explanation is that the lack of any transaction charge is like allowing a friction-free engine to accelerate without limit. Whatever the engine is made of, at some point it is going to explode.

        As regards the tax increase, I think you were just guessing completely wildly. My suggested principle would be a pro-freedom pro-choice progressive profit tax based on market share. The goal would be to insure there are enough playe

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Facebook is where all the AOL idiots went after AOL faded. It's a centralization of idiocy.

    Maybe we should not be trying to convince people that Facebook is bad, because they'll just move on to infect something else.

    I say, let the idiots have their AOL, whatever they wish to call it. It helps keep them all nicely contained in one place, so they do less damage. No - we should be encouraging Facebook use. Anyone dumb enough to actually do it, deserves it.

  • Now EVERYBODY knows I'm a Miranda! (Exactly how useful is this quiz data?)

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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