What's going on?
The world’s biggest social network is in turmoil. Facebook was hit over the weekend with reports that data from 50 million users was compromised when the company allowed a political data firm to tap Facebook information. Federal investigators are looking into whether the use of the data violated a consent decree signed by Facebook and the data firm in 2011.
Cambridge Analytica, a London-based political research firm, was hired by the Trump campaign team for the 2016 election. It’s mostly funded by Republican donor Robert Mercer and Breitbart founder Steve Bannon.
How did Cambridge Analytica use the data?
The goal was to use Facebook users’ “likes,” friend networks and other information to create maps of their personalities and then target users with ads based on their personality maps.
Researchers gathered the data in 2014 through a personality survey, and a professor used their methods to harvest data that he passed on to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook users were asked to download an app that scraped personal info from them and their friends, something Facebook allowed at the time and has since banned from the site.
How is Facebook reacting?
Facebook has officially denied the claims, saying it respects the privacy settings users have in place.
“Privacy and data protections are fundamental to every decision we make," Facebook said Saturday in a statement to the Washington Post.
The social network also says that no passwords or "sensitive pieces of information" were compromised.
How is Wall Street reacting?
Facebook shares fell around 5 percent on Tuesday after falling about 8 percent on Monday.
What else should I know?
Channel 4 investigators have released undercover video they say is from a meeting with Cambridge Analytica executives. Learn more with our explainer here.
On today’s show, Glenn and Stu broke down exactly how Facebook and the analytics firm gained your data and debated whether or not the social network did anything wrong.