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Facebook starts notifying millions of users that their data was ‘improperly obtained’

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The notification references the Cambridge Analytica scandal

Illustration by James Bareham / The Verge

Facebook has started notifying millions of users that were affected by the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. As many as 87 million Facebook users had their information improperly obtained and used, and it has taken Facebook nearly three years to notify its users of the privacy problems that were first uncovered in 2015.

Facebook is now displaying a link at the top of the News Feed today, pointing users to remove apps they no longer need. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that “the notification is rolling out over the course of today.” If your data was improperly obtained, Facebook will share a “how you’re affected” link and explain that a website a Facebook friend may have used was able to steal Facebook information and share it with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook’s privacy notification.
Image: Facebook

Facebook is now implementing some big platform changes to prevent this scandal from happening again in the future. The company is looking for “suspicious activity” from developers to audit them fully after it made similar changes back in 2014 to prevent data being improperly obtained. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will now testify before Congress this week to answer questions about his company’s use and protection of user data.