myPersonality App Exposes Personal Data of Millions of Facebook Users

A new report reveals that yet another Facebook app has been gathering personal details from millions of users, and selling it to interested parties.

Apparently, data from millions of Facebook users who used the popular myPersonality app, including their answers to intimate questionnaires, was left exposed online for anyone to access, a New Scientist investigation recently unearthed.

myPersonality app exposed personal information of millions of Facebook users

This is what the researchers reported:

Academics at the University of Cambridge distributed the data from the personality quiz app myPersonality to hundreds of researchers via a website with insufficient security provisions, which led to it being left vulnerable to access for four years. Gaining access illicitly was relatively easy.

This revelation is quite troublesome since the data was highly sensitive, revealing private details of Facebook users, including the results of psychological tests. Moreover, the data was meant to be stored and shared anonymously. Unfortunately, the actions to protect the data have been described as “poor precautions”, meaning that deanonymising the data would not be hard at all.

The data sets were controlled by David Stillwell and Michal Kosinski at the University of Cambridge’s The Psychometrics Centre. Alexandr Kogan, at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica allegations, was listed as a collaborator on the myPersonality project until the summer of 2014.

Facebook has already suspended the myPersonality app from its platform on 7 April. The social platform said that the app may have violated its policies due to the language used in the app and on its website to describe how data is shared, the researchers explained.

How many Facebook users have been affected by myPersonality’s data collection?

The report shows that more than 6 million people completed the tests (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum authored by Milena Dimitrova. Read the original post at: