Digital Dystopia: Analyzing Facebook Data Permissions from 2014-2018




Sathaye, Maanas
Saha, Oishik

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This investigation looks to analyze Facebook’s data privacy regulations from 2014-2018; the Cambridge Analytica scandal is used as a case study to show how Facebook acted unethically in ensuring the privacy of user data. Facebook’s inability to regulate whose data was being shared and how third parties were using this data was unethical and directly resulted in third-parties, like Cambridge Analytica, misusing the data. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - Computer Science and Association for Computing Machinery joint task force ethical code for software engineers is used to judge Facebook’s malpractice. This same code, and the knowledge of Facebook’s previous failure, is used to recommend an ethical solution to prevent user data from being compromised; the proposed solution is to explicitly ask users for permission for their data to be shared. The report concludes that Facebook was unable to control how data was being used once it was shared, compromising the privacy of millions of individuals. The report also concludes that users should be actively monitoring their online presence when using Facebook as an alternative to completely abandoning the platform.


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