Be vigilant when sharing data on social media – privacy commission
MANILA, Philippines – In the wake of the global scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, the National Privacy Commision (NPC) called on Filipinos to be more vigilant in sharing personal data on social media platforms or any other applications.
"We also want to let Filipinos know that they should be vigilant with what they post, what they share, and what they are agreeing to in certain apps. [T]hey should read what they are sharing with these apps," NPC Deputy Commissioner Leandro Aguirre said in a press briefing on Friday, April 6.
Aguirre pointed out that some third-party applications require access to information from Facebook users such as one's name, profile photos, posts, or photos uploaded by the user or the user's friends.
"We encourage the public to exercise a new level of care about their privacy and to take part in forming the future of Facebook in the country," Privacy Commissioner Mon Liboro also said on Friday.
Context: Cambridge Analytica is a data analytics firm accused of harvesting the data of millions of Facebook users for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
The end goal was to create a software that will predict and influence voters' choices.
Facebook said 87 million users might have been affected by the data privacy scandal involving the company.
In a post, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer said on Wednesday, April 4, that about 1,175,870 Filipino users may have had their Facebook information improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.
The Philippines was only behind the United States in terms of the number of affected Facebook users.
Why it matters: Third-party apps on Facebook need your consent to access your data, but may not necessarily be transparent where these will be used. (READ: How to check your third-party app permissions on Facebook)
These apps may come in the form of interesting personality quizzes.
Data harvested by these companies can be used to target Facebook users through content tailored for them.
"If you know the personality of the people you’re targeting, you can nuance your messaging to resonate more effectively with those key groups," Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix said in a 2016 speech.
According to a South China Morning Post report, Cambridge Analytica might have also had a hand in the 2016 Philippine presidential elections. (READ: Did Cambridge Analytica use Filipinos' Facebook data to help Duterte win?)
Records also showed that Cambridge Analytica's parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories, was involved in the 2013 Philippine elections.
"On the part of the commission, we are calling for transparency [from Facebook] and on the part of Filipinos, be aware with that they are sharing and making available for these companies," Aguirre reiterated on Friday. – Rappler.com
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