Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal seems unending, but this week, users are finally getting some answers about whether or not their data was shared. Yesterday, Facebook began surfacing links at the top of News Feeds to help users understand what kind of data they’re sharing with third-party apps. Today, the company took things one step further and launched a new tool that allows users to see if their information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.
With Cambridge Analytica gaining access to information associated with as many as 84 million accounts, there are likely a lot of Facebook users interested in figuring out if their data was compromised. Cambridge Analytica collected information on Facebook users primarily through an app called “This Is Your Digital Life,” which caught on with millions of users before it was removed in 2015.
The tricky thing about This iI Your Digital Life is that Facebook users who logged into it also shared information on their friends, so even if you didn’t log into the app yourself, the possibility of Cambridge Analytica pulling your data still exists. If you want to check and see if your information was shared with Cambridge Analytica (and you should), you can head over to a new page on the Facebook Help Center to find out.
The lucky among us will see a text box that says “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.'” If you didn’t make it out of this scandal unscathed, you’ll instead see an alert like the one in the image below.
As you can see, merely having a friend who logged into This Is Your Digital Life was enough to put your information out there, potentially including messages you may have sent them as well. At this point, there isn’t much you can do if you discover that your information was shared, as the damage has already been done, but as always, knowing is better than not knowing. Of course, you could always follow Steve Wozniak’s lead and delete your profile, but that’s easier said than done for some people out there.