Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook has confirmed that Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm hired by the former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, and the current Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, to manipulate presidential elections in West and East Africa, improperly accessed the data of 87 million people.
Facebook said the company would start alerting user on April 9 whether their personal information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.
On Wednesday, American lawmakers said Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg would testify before the House Energy and Commerce committee on April 11, following outrage over the inability of the world’s biggest social network to protect the data of users.
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Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that the personal information of up to 87 million users, most of them Americans, may have been improperly shared during the 2016 election in the United States with Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm tied to President Donald Trump.
Facebook had previously said the personal data of about 50 million people may have been shared with the consulting firm to influence the American election, but the new disclosures have sharply increased the number of people who were affected.
Apart from the United States election in 2016, the consulting firm also worked in Nigeria and Kenya and tried to influence the elections there.
In Nigeria for instance, Cambridge Analytica, using a proxy Israeli company, hacked the health data of current Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, as it became clear that he might defeat Mr. Goodluck Jonathan.
On Tuesday, Facebook CEO said it had also taken down at least 270 pages and accounts of a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency, which is believed to have manipulated election in the United States, Russia and Europe.