What Went Wrong? Facebook and ‘Sharing’ Data with Cambridge Analytica

Communications of the ACM, June 2018, Vol. 61 No. 6, Pages 8-9
BLOG@CACM “What Went Wrong? Facebook and ‘Sharing’ Data with Cambridge Analytica”
By Susan Landau

Guest blogger Susan Landau is a computer scientist and cybersecurity policy expert at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and the School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Tufts University.

“The road to the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal is strewn with failures. There’s the failure to protect users’ privacy, the failure to protect voters, and the failure to uncover the actions and violations of laws that may well have affected the Brexit referendum and the U.S. presidential election. The latter two threaten the heart of democracy. But here I want to focus on the simpler problem: the failure to protect users’ privacy. That problem has the virtue of being easy to unpack—even if its resolution is far from simple.


This failure to protect privacy has multiple parts.”

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