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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

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20772248
Hinds19888408
Harrison17489302
Rankin13311275
Jackson13097243
Madison9895210
Lee9856169
Jones8290160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7187237
Lowndes6262144
Lamar610584
Lafayette6027117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4419139
Warren4280118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403675
Neshoba3987176
Lincoln3869108
Hancock372085
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3180104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265779
Wayne261341
Leake261073
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120041
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81823
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
Etowah13662345
Marshall11957219
Houston10380278
Elmore9993200
Limestone9811147
Cullman9470188
St. Clair9426234
Lauderdale9215227
DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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