On Monday, Facebook rolled out a tool that tells users if their account allowed access to “This Is Your Digital Life,” an app that contained data that was eventually used for political research by Cambridge Analytica.
It’s no surprise that Facebook, the most popular social media platform in the Philippines, has kept track of more or less everything we’ve ever done on the site, but the ongoing privacy scandal has been a wakeup call for many about just how invasive the data collection can be.
Last week, a Facebook statement revealed that the Philippines had the second-highest number of users affected by the data sharing, with 1.175 million affected accounts. If you’re wondering if you’re one of them, here’s how you can find out.
The new tool is accessible through Facebook’s help center, but if you don’t have time to look for it, just click this link.
If your account wasn’t affected, it will say:
“Based on our available records, neither you nor your friends logged into ‘This is Your Digital Life.’ As a result, it doesn’t appear your Facebook information was shared with Cambridge Analytica by ‘This Is Your Digital Life.'”
You will then be prompted to review or update the information you share with apps or websites.
But just because you didn’t give access to the app doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe. Your information could have still been shared if one of your friends logged in.
Data shared by “This Is Your Digital Life” could include information from your public profile, your likes, birthday, and current residence. But it gets creepier. The app could have also gotten information from some users’ news feeds and messages.
According to Facebook, they have started adding a prompt to try the tool on top of some people’s news feeds.
Yesterday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Senate to address questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy-related issues. Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy firm, obtained data from 87 million users and allegedly used this information to profile users for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
But it’s not only the U.S. elections that may have been affected. It turns out, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s social media-centered campaign also has links to the firm.
A report by the South China Morning Post, found that Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) helped Duterte win the election by branding him as a tough-on-crime politician, a move prompted by SCL research that showed how voters will respond more to a candidate with that image.
The Duterte campaign’s social media manager Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña has denied links to Cambridge Analytica even after a photo of him with the firm’s founder CEO, Alexander Nix surfaced over the weekend.
As the saying goes, if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.