Yesterday, Facebook announced that users of the social media platform will finally be notified whether or not their personal data was shared with the controversy-embroiled political research firm Cambridge Analytica.
Many people logged in on their devices expecting to see a message at the top of their news feed reading “Protecting Your Information”, as was described in numerous articles. If you were one of about 87 million users whose data was shared (71 million of whom are in the US), the notification will end with a blue tab that says “See How You’re Affected”, whereas if your data was not shared with Cambridge Analytica – though keep in mind that your data has definitely gone to a lot of other third-party companies – the blue bar will say “Go To Apps And Websites”.
Bear in mind that the notification, though it was rolled out last night, may take some time to reach all of Facebook’s more than 1.8 billion users.
But if you too are an occasional user who has not downloaded the app, or maybe you’re just a few coding courses short of tech-savvy status, you may not have seen or been able to access the notification. Also, maybe you don’t want to wait around for Facebook to get to your account’s notification.
So, here’s how to do it
Log in to Facebook on the Internet browser of your phone, tablet, or desktop computer, then navigate to the Help Center page by changing the url in the address bar to https://www.facebook.com/help.
Once there, simply type “Cambridge Analytica” into the search bar at the top of the page, then click on the result that says “How can I tell if my information was shared with Cambridge Analytica?”
Doing that should direct you to a page describing whether or not your data was shared.
Now that you know the status of your data, what you decide to do with your account is up to you.
Although Facebook has already tightened restrictions on how within-platform apps can harvest users’ data – and they pledge to continue this mission – the machine learning-driven models for creating targeted advertisements based on psychological profiles that were trained using this dataset continue to exist.
This further confirms, sadly, that whether you #DeleteFacebook or not, Internet privacy in the 21st century remains a distant goal.