May 142018

Phee Waterfield and Timothy Revell report:

Data from millions of Facebook users who used a popular personality app, including their answers to intimate questionnaires, was left exposed online for anyone to access, a New Scientist investigation has found.

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.

The data was highly sensitive, revealing personal details of Facebook users, such as the results of psychological tests. It was meant to be stored and shared anonymously, however such poor precautions were taken that deanonymising would not be hard.

Read more on New Scientist.

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