More than 65,000 Singapore Facebook users possibly affected by Cambridge Analytica data breach

More than 65,000 Singapore Facebook users possibly affected by Cambridge Analytica data breach

SINGAPORE: More than 65,000 Facebook users in Singapore may have had their information "improperly shared" with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, said the social media giant on Thursday (Apr 5). 

They were among the up to 87 million accounts worldwide whose data may have been affected, far more than the initial estimate of 50 million suggested by news reports.

Responding to Channel NewsAsia's queries, Facebook said that 65,009 people in Singapore "may have had their information improperly shared", which is less than 1 per cent of the total number of users affected around the world.

Facebook added that the majority of the users affected were in the United States. Specifically, 97.2 per cent of users who installed a personality quiz app created by an academic who was hired by Cambridge Analytica were in the US.

Elsewhere in Asia, more than 1 million users in the Philippines and Indonesia may have had their information improperly shared.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday that he accepted responsibility for the failure to protect user data.

"I think life is about learning from the mistakes and figuring out how to move forward," he said in response to a question on his ability to lead the company.

"When you're building something like Facebook which is unprecedented in the world, there are things that you're going to mess up ... What I think people should hold us accountable for is if we are learning from our mistakes."

Facebook also announced that new privacy tool for users would be put in place by Monday, allowing users to remove apps that they no longer want. 

Developers' ability to request data people shared with them will also be removed if the users have not used the app for three months. 

Apps will also no longer be allowed to ask for access to various personal information, such as relationship status and details, religious or political views, news reading, education and work history, and more. 

Source: CNA/ng/(gs)