Facebook's original estimate that the personal information of 50 million users had been shared with the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica was apparently a low-ball. In a Wednesday blog post detailing revamped data security policies, the social networked admitted the number of individuals whose accounts were compromised is closer to 87 million -- an increase of 37 million users.
Cambridge Analytica, a London-based firm, bought the data from Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan, who managed to obtain it from unwitting Facebook users via a survey app. Early news reports indicated that 50 million users were enveloped in the data-mining scandal, but the company's own acknowledgement on Wednesday put the figure at nearly double the original figure. Cambridge Analytica worked with President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign to target voters with ads.
Additionally, tech giant announced it will inform users if their data was shared with Cambridge Analytica on April 9 with an advisory on Facebook's homepage.
In the wake of the revelations, the company has endured widespread backlash and financial repercussions, including a sharp decline in its stock price. CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the company's participation in the scandal in nine full-page newspaper ads in the United States and United Kingdom, and is due to testify before Congress about Facebook user privacy on April 11.
A blog post written by Facebook's Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer on Wednesday outlines a series of sweeping changes to Facebook's user privacy policies.
"Overall, we believe these changes will better protect people’s information while still enabling developers to create useful experiences," he wrote.