How to tell if Facebook shared your personal data with Cambridge Analytica

Facebook (Image credit: Windows Central)

The controversy surrounding Cambridge Analytica has been building over recent weeks, following an investigation that uncovered how Facebook data of millions was leveraged to target political advertisements.

As reported by The New York Times, the core of Cambridge Analytica's research was conducted via a personality survey tied to a Facebook log-in. After logging in with your credentials, the app could collect your profile information to aid research. This alone rounded up the data of over 270,000 reported users, all in accordance with Facebook's policies.

Although the survey used to fuel Cambridge Analytica's targeting was completed by only a fraction of affected individuals, data harvesting was seen on a much wider scale. Taking advantage of default privacy settings, the app was able to expand its reach to unknowing Facebook friends. This leads to the situation we find ourselves in today – millions of affected users, many unknowing such a survey or firm existed.

Were you affected by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica's data debacle?

Facebook has now rolled out an official tool for its users, providing insight into whether Cambridge Analytica improperly collected their data. By visiting the tool on Facebook's Help Center page, the company will confirm whether your information was shared by the "This Is Your Digital Life" survey or through Facebook friends. (You must be logged in to the site.)

For those affected, Facebook will break down an estimate of shared information. Among the commonly shared details are your public profile, page likes and other personal information tied to your account. Friends who shared access to their News Feed, timeline, and messages may have also provided access to data posted by you.

To take a look at Facebook's official tool, head over to its page titled "How can I tell if my info was shared with Cambridge Analytica?" on its Help Center.

Were you affected by the Cambridge Analytica fiasco? Drop into the comments section below and share your findings.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.