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What to do if your Facebook data was exposed

Facebook's data scandal has gotten a lot more personal for millions of users.On Monday, the social network beg...

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 6:50 AM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 6:50 AM

Facebook's data scandal has gotten a lot more personal for millions of users.

On Monday, the social network began notifying 87 million users that their information was likely shared with Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that worked for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Although many Facebook users woke up on Tuesday morning with an alert at the top of their News Feed, not all accounts have yet been notified.

If you're like me and didn't see a notification in your Facebook app or on desktop, you can click here to find out if your data was collected.

But affected Facebook users aren't sure what to do after learning birthdays, hometowns and more personal information, such as private messages, were collected by Cambridge Analytica.

The short answer? Not much, for now.

Even if you delete your Facebook account, or remove third-party apps connected to your profile, the third-party apps will still have access to data they previously collected. Users have to contact the app individually to have the data be removed

Related: You had Facebook data questions. I have answers.

"The reality is there is no putting the genie back in the bottle," Justin Hendrix, executive director at NYC Digital Media Lab and data privacy activist, told CNN. Hendrix was notified that one of his Facebook friends used a personality quiz app called This is Your Digital Life that collected user data. His information was also likely collected in the process.

While only 270,000 people accessed the app, those who did engage with it granted Cambridge Analytica access to not only to their own information, but to the data of all their Facebook friends. "I anticipated I would potentially be affected, but at the same time, it brings it home that this is real," said Hendrix.

According to a notice on affected accounts, the "small number of people" who accessed the app also shared their News Feed, timeline, posts and messages. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that 1,500 users who logged into the app granted explicit access to their private message inbox.

Facebook said it learned of the data violation in 2015 and asked Cambridge Analytica to delete the data at the time. CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress on Tuesday at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees to discuss the data scandal.

For now, the platform is directing people to their Settings page to see which apps are connected to their accounts, such as Uber and Netflix. Users can also disconnect those apps.

"They will also be able to see what apps they have deleted in the past," the spokesperson said.

Users can also see the data Facebook has collected on you over the years. To do so, visit, Settings > General > Download a copy of your Facebook data.

Adam Hobin, an Atlanta-based Facebook user, told CNN he's "highly considering" leaving Facebook after discovering his personal information was shared with Cambridge Analytica. "This notice should've come out in 2015," he said.

Related: Facebook CEO apologizes for failing to protect users

Walt Mossberg, a veteran tech reporter and cofounder of tech website Recode, urged Facebook to let users know which friends accessed the app and when.

"I'd like to at least know who this friend was, and when it happened," he tweeted. "An acknowledgment that this info went to Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Trump, should have been there. And a mature company would have apologized in the body of this notice."

He continued: "Thanks, @facebook, for allowing an unidentified friend of mine to unknowingly expose some of my information to an unscrupulous app, & then waiting until you were in trouble years later to let me know, in very vague terms."

Some users have rallied behind efforts for Facebook to be regulated in the US -- something Zuckerberg suggested he would be on board with.

"I do think we can pick up the phone and call our lawmakers and say, 'Why aren't there rules? Why aren't there repercussions?'" said Hendrix, who recently launched an advocacy project called Regulate Social Media.

Professor David Carroll -- an associate professor at Parsons School of Design, who sued Cambridge Analytica to find out what it knows about him -- is a collaborator on the project.

-- CNN's Kaya Yurieff, Gianluca Mezzofiore, and Donie O'Sullivan contributed reporting.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 2979
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7189161
DeSoto569464
Harrison394175
Jackson358570
Rankin337280
Madison334190
Lee293572
Forrest254275
Jones252780
Washington227879
Lafayette221240
Lauderdale2078126
Bolivar187370
Oktibbeha181952
Lamar176237
Lowndes160858
Neshoba1599104
Panola151631
Sunflower149146
Leflore143882
Warren141850
Pontotoc130116
Monroe125369
Pike124954
Copiah119933
Scott118027
Coahoma117530
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Grenada110136
Holmes110060
Yazoo106733
Simpson105847
Tate101938
Union101224
Leake96538
Adams94937
Wayne91521
Pearl River91453
Prentiss88418
Marion87537
Itawamba85921
Alcorn83411
Covington83223
George78513
Tallahatchie78324
Newton78124
Winston74619
Tishomingo71039
Tippah70518
Chickasaw69524
Attala67225
Clarke61149
Walthall60426
Clay59919
Hancock59822
Jasper58415
Noxubee55816
Smith55115
Calhoun52912
Tunica50015
Montgomery47020
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44414
Lawrence43914
Perry43221
Quitman3905
Greene38917
Stone38013
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34711
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll33112
Wilkinson30818
Kemper29115
Sharkey26714
Jefferson2439
Benton2333
Franklin1993
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 138162

Reported Deaths: 2405
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson20221352
Mobile13558295
Tuscaloosa9029118
Montgomery8894187
Madison800580
Shelby616450
Lee601761
Baldwin564052
Marshall398345
Etowah357545
Calhoun356944
Morgan334929
Houston295421
Elmore273948
DeKalb246121
St. Clair237937
Walker236987
Talladega219030
Limestone215720
Cullman192220
Dallas179926
Franklin179430
Autauga179127
Russell17903
Lauderdale175934
Colbert168426
Blount162915
Escambia162024
Jackson161112
Chilton160930
Dale141844
Covington141628
Coffee13936
Pike122011
Chambers117942
Tallapoosa117385
Clarke110916
Marion97629
Butler91740
Barbour8967
Winston75112
Marengo72820
Pickens67215
Randolph67213
Bibb66411
Lowndes65927
Hale65328
Geneva6505
Lawrence63625
Cherokee62013
Bullock61015
Clay5929
Monroe5928
Washington56012
Crenshaw54532
Perry5436
Conecuh53811
Wilcox53211
Henry5145
Macon48318
Fayette47311
Sumter43419
Cleburne4085
Lamar3822
Choctaw35212
Greene30615
Coosa1743
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