Privacy News Update: Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

Posted by on March 19, 2018 in data mining, News and Updates, Privacy and Social Media, Uncategorized | 0 comments

On March 17 – 18, 2018, the Guardian, the New York Times, and Britain’s Channel Four published stories detailing how Cambridge Analytica employed a third-party researcher to harvest 50 million Facebook users’ profiles for use in political campaigns without the consent of the users.  Below we’ve compiled links to those stories, public reaction to the news, and provided information and links about privacy self defense.  (Last updated on March 22 at 10:30 pm Central).

Initial News Stories and Investigative Reports:

Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach  | The Guardian

How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions | New York Times

Whistleblower reveals to Channel 4 News data grab of 50 million Facebook profiles by Cambridge Analytica |Channel4News (United Kingdom)

A Researcher’s Quiz App Deceptively Harvested Data for Political Research, Facebook Alleges   | Adweek

Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm that helped Donald Trump get elected| ReCode
Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data it promised Facebook it had deleted, the company claims.

Cambridge Analytica Took 50m Facebook Users’ Data—And Both Companies Owe Answers | Wired

Legislative and Regulatory Response

Facebook’s Role in Data Misuse Sets Off Storms on Two Continents | New York Times

Facebook’s Zuckerberg comes under fire from UK, US lawmakers | AP News

Facebook may have violated FTC privacy deal, say former federal officials, triggering risk of massive fines | The Washington Post

Cambridge Analytica: Warrant sought to inspect company | BBC News

Britain’s information commissioner plans to seek a warrant to access servers of data mining firm Cambridge Analytica | ABC News

Massachusetts launches probe into Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data | The Hill

Senate Commerce presses Facebook, Cambridge Analytic for answers on data | The Hill

Facebook under pressure as U.S., EU urge probes of data practices | Reuters

FTC is reportedly investigating Facebook’s use of personal data | Endgadget

Facebook Faces Growing Pressure Over Data and Privacy Inquiries | New York Times

The Little Regulator at the Heart of Facebook’s Big Data Dispute | Bloomberg

Facebook investors sue the social media giant over voter-profile harvesting | Los Angeles Times

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower to testify to House Democrats on Facebook data operation | The Washington Post

Facebook’s Response

Self-described whistleblower suspended by Facebook after Cambridge Analytica reports | The Hill

Zuckerberg, Facing Facebook’s Worst Crisis Yet, Pledges Better Privacy | The New York Times

Mark Zuckerberg Talks To Wired About Facebook’s Privacy Problem | Wired

Mark Zuckerberg’s Reckoning: ‘This Is a Major Trust Issue’ | The New York Times

Mark Zuckerberg says he’s ‘open’ to testifying to Congress, fixes will cost ‘many millions’ and he ‘feels really bad’ | Recode

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will audit thousands of apps after ‘breach of trust | The Washington Post

Zuckerberg: Maybe tech should face some regulations | The Hill

What Would Regulating Facebook Look Like? | Wired

Public Response

For Many Facebook Users, a ‘Last Straw’ That Led Them to Quit | The New York Times

Consumer Reports to Facebook: Notify every person who had private data compromised | Consumers Report

Next Worry for Facebook: Disenchanted Users | Wall Street Journal

News Updates after 3/18/2018

Report: Cambridge Analytica trying to block exposé by U.K.’s Channel 4 | CBS News

Cambridge Analytica Execs Caught Discussing Extortion And Fake News | Wired

Alex Stamos, Facebook Data Security Chief, To Leave Amid Outcry | New York Times

Whistleblower: Cambridge Analytica met with Lewandowski before Trump campaign launch | The Hill

Cambridge Analytica Suspends C.E.O. Amid Facebook Data Scandal | New York Times

‘Utterly horrifying’: ex-Facebook insider says covert data harvesting was routine | The Guardian

Cambridge Analytica CEO claims influence on U.S. election, Facebook questioned | Reuters

Analysis and Opinion

Facebook Ignites Debate Over Third-Party Access to User Data | Wall Street Journal

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, and the Revelations of Open Secrets | The New Yorker

Exploiting Facebook data to influence voters? That’s a feature, not a bug, of the social network | Los Angeles Times

Facebook Owes You More Than This | Wired

Facebook’s Surveillance Machine | New York Times

What Took Facebook So Long? | The Atlantic

Why We’re Not Calling the Cambridge Analytica Story a ‘Data Breach’ | Motherboard

Facebook says you ‘own’ all the data you post. Not even close, say privacy experts | Los Angeles Times

How many Facebook-fueled abuses need to happen before the government takes online privacy seriously? | Los Angeles Times

What privacy pros can learn from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica revelations | International Association of Privacy Professionals

The Long History of Computer Science and Psychology Comes Into View: Understanding that legacy can help us stop the next Cambridge Analytica. | Slate

The Problem Isn’t Cambridge Analytica: It’s Facebook | Forbes

Cambridge Analytica case highlights Facebook’s data riches | Financial Times

One Way Facebook Can Stop the Next Cambridge Analytica | Slate

The Cambridge Analytica affair reveals Facebook’s “Transparency Paradox” | MIT Technology Review

Old Facebook got away with murder, New Facebook not so much | Columbia Journalism Review

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica fallout continues. Data breach? No. Pretty bad? Yes | Nieman Lab

Given Facebook’s Privacy Backlash, Why Aren’t We Angrier With the Broadband Industry? | Motherboard

How Researchers Learned to Use Facebook ‘Likes’ to Sway Your Thinking | New York Times

Yet Another Lesson from the Cambridge Analytica Fiasco: Remove the Barriers to User Privacy Control | Electronic Frontier Foundation/Cory Doctorow

Why have we given up our privacy to Facebook and other sites so willingly? | The Guardian

Facebook’s rules for accessing user data lured more than just Cambridge Analytica | The Washington Post

Silicon Valley Has Failed to Protect Our Data. Here’s How to Fix It | Bloomberg News

Facebook and the endless string of worst-case scenarios | TechCrunch

Cambridge Analytica and Our Lives Inside the Surveillance Machine | The New Yorker

Mark Zuckerberg’s Trust Problem | Wired

The Problem with #DeleteFacebook | Slate

Don’t Delete Facebook, Regulate It | The Nation

How Facebook made it impossible to delete Facebook | Vox

Privacy Self-Defense

Tools to Protect User Privacy | Choose Privacy Week

How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing | Electronic Frontier Foundation

A recipe for the deliberately obscured task of changing your Facebook settings to opt out of “platform” sharing | BoingBoing

How to protect your Facebook privacy – or delete yourself completely | The Guardian

How to manipulate Facebook and Twitter instead of letting them manipulate you | MIT Technology Review

How to Protect Yourself (and Your Friends) on Facebook | New York Times

Facebook is experimenting on you. Here’s how you can run an experiment on it. | The Washington Post

The Cambridge Analytica Mess Is a Good Reminder to Check Which Sketchy Apps You’ve Allowed to Access Your Facebook Profile |Slate

How to Quickly Delete Lots of Old Facebook Posts | How-To Geek

Make A Giant Leap for Patron Privacy: Prepare for CPW2018 with A Free Webinar on Library Privacy Audits

Posted by on March 13, 2018 in Choose Privacy Week, libraries, Privacy Awareness, Privacy Education, Privacy Policies, Webinar | 0 comments

Is your library preparing to observe Choose Privacy Week 2018? Join Erin Berman and Julie Oborny of the San José Public Library for a free webinar that outlines the first steps libraries can take to implement up-to-date privacy policies and procedures.

The webinar “A Practical Guide to Privacy Audits” will include a discussion about why healthy privacy practices are more critical for libraries than ever before and offers a step-by-step guide for starting a privacy audit at your library.

The webinar will take place on Monday, April 16, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern/12:30 p.m. Central/11:30 a.m. Mountain/10:30 a.m. Pacific.

Online registration is available via this link: Space for the live webinar is limited and is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Choose Privacy Week (May 1-8) is the American Library Association’s annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians’ unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole. For more information on Choose Privacy Week, visit

Speaker biographies:

Julie Oborny is a web librarian for San José Public Library (SJPL), where she focuses on analyzing, designing, and developing the library’s online experiences. As an advocate for privacy, intellectual freedom, and technology literacy, she valued the opportunity to work on the design and development team for the award-winning Virtual Privacy Lab — a free resource that helps people optimize their online privacy. Julie authored a chapter about social network sites, surveillance, and RFID in Protecting Patron Privacy: A LITA Guide. She also participated in SJPL’s privacy audit.

Erin Berman is the Innovations Manager for the San José Public Library. She was an American Library Association’s Emerging Leader in the class of 2014, was named one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers in 2016 and is currently a California Library Association at-large board member. Her work in the library field has mainly focused on technology literacy, leading projects such as the Virtual Privacy Lab, the Maker[Space]Ship, and most recently, an internal privacy audit.

Webinar Sponsors:

The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in libraries, including technology, politics, legislation, and social trends. It proposes actions to ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee that promote best policies and practices for library users’ privacy and generally defend and protect the privacy of library users, librarians, and the public.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights and with educating librarians and the public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. OIF supports the work of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee. For more information, visit

Privacy News and Views for March 2

Posted by on March 2, 2018 in News and Updates, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Privacy for Whom? | The New Inquiry

Two new books show that for the poor, privacy has never been on offer.

Government Surveillance

U.S. Supreme Court wrestles with Microsoft data privacy fight | Reuters

Europe seeks power to seize overseas data in challenge to tech giants | Reuters

Student Privacy/Libraries and Privacy

We can, but should we? When trends challenge our professional values | American Libraries

Corporate Surveillance

AI tool scans privacy notices to inform users on data collection | IAPP

Privacy Self-Defense

How to turn off Facebook’s face recognition features | Wired

Privacy Tip #128 – Basic Smartphone Settings to Thwart Hackers | Data Privacy & Security Insider

Encryption and Security

Apple Moves Chinese iCloud Encryption Keys to China, Worrying Privacy Advocates | Gizmodo

Law and Regulation

Bill seeking to protect consumers from Equifax-like data breach passes Unicameral | WJAG / Norfolk (NE)

 This Week in Data Breaches

Understanding Data Breaches as National Security Threats | Lawfare

Equifax finds an additional 2.4 million Americans impacted by 2017 breach | CNBC

Data breach may have put Pa. teachers’ personal information at risk | PennLive/Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA)

ShopRite pharmacy security breach affects 10K customers |

Stolen laptop compromises data of Houston’s health plan | Health Data Management