Take steps to avoid Facebook data breaches, state’s AG warns

DOVER — More than one-fifth of the state’s population may have had personal data exposed as part of a Facebook breach.

The Delaware Department of Justice issued a release Friday urging Delawareans to take steps to reduce the amount of information available about them on Facebook.

According to media reports and Facebook, Global Science Research may have improperly shared Facebook information of up to 87 million users worldwide with Cambridge Analytica and other third parties.

Facebook estimated 902 users in Delaware installed an app that allowed Global Science Research to gain access to personal information of those users and of their friends. According to Facebook, up to 200,651 users in Delaware were friends with people on Facebook who had installed the app.

Facebook’s estimates provided to state attorneys general showed that approximately 196,000 Facebook users in the United States downloaded the app, but more than 46 million Facebook users in America were friends with someone who had downloaded the app.

Attorney General Matt Denn and other state attorneys general are conducting investigations of the breach of personal privacy involving Facebook information.

“This information about Delaware shows why protecting data on social networks is so important.

“Because of the many connections between people, a relatively small number of people using this app in Delaware, across the country and around the world opened the door to possible access to personal Facebook data of one-fifth of the state’s population,” Mr. Denn said in a statement.

“The other attorneys general and I will continue to seek information from Facebook about the breach and about Facebook’s practices in the past and in the future with regards to securing personal data, and will make decisions about the next steps in our investigations.

“But this episode has already been a wake-up call for many to take a look at what social media has and shares about you.”

Individuals can reduce the number of apps that have access to their Facebook accounts by logging in to Facebook, going to settings and clicking on apps. From there, they can delete apps as appropriate.

It is also recommended people not use the option offered by many websites or apps to log in with Facebook.

Facebook users can access or download all the information Facebook has stored about them by following instructions at https://www.facebook.com/help/1701730696756992.

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