The 87 million Facebook users who had their personal data harvested by Cambridge Analytica are to be notified today.

Facebook told users in a blog post last week it would announce whether their data was shared improperly with Cambridge Analytica today. The social network said that affected users will receive a detailed message on their news feeds.

The majority of the affected Facebook users are in the United States (around 70 million) while millions more have been affected in the UK, The Philippines and Indonesia. South Africa got off comparatively lightly, according to a Facebook spokesperson, with just under 60 000 users “potentially impacted”.

All of Facebook’s 2.2 billion users will receive a notification entitled “Protecting Your Information”, with a link to the apps they’ve used and information on what data has been shared with them. They’ll also be given the option to turn off the apps, or restrict third party access to their data.

The news comes ahead of the week in which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear before Congress, to testify about his company’s role in enabling Cambridge Analytica to harvest the data of millions of users. Reports state that Facebook was aware back in 2015 that the UK-based data-mining firm had harvested information improperly from its users – in a move Zuckerberg has called “a major breach of trust” – but failed to notify any of its users at the time.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]