The app, developed by University of Cambridge psychology researcher Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research, pulled out data of not only these 335 users but their friends as well as friends of friends also. It also allows users to report chats that may violate community standards.
A Facebook representative told the website The Verge that the information would have been used generally and not customized to specific patients. The admission relates to the search feature whereby people on the platform can be found via their phone number or email address, a feature that apparently was widely abused. "With political ads based on their personality traits from clicking on certain items, liking certain items, other things they have clicks on via Facebook", Hudson said.
"This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analysed anyone's data", a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC.
A lot of people will probably know what I think of this without the need of me telling them. While users can send disappearing messages on Messenger à la Snapchat, they can't retroactively delete their own messages from other people's inboxes.
Having access to such a massive amount of data could also pose national security risks, Winterton said.
Following the public uproar, Zuckerberg apologised in an interview with CNN. "We didn't take a broad enough view of what our responsibility is, and that was a huge mistake".
"In theory, everything inside a computer can be erased but Facebook has computers all over the world, which makes it hard to trace whether information has been deleted completely", said Lara, adding that third parties may have been duplicating data without consent. As such, I encourage any users who are stuck at the password form to do this as well as deleting the browser's cache data. "There's a lack of information (on Facebook's part) and it's frustrating", the 24-year-old added.
"If the government has to block [Facebook], we will block it", he said.
Facebook is working to strengthen its system ahead of this year's USA midterm elections and other elections around the world.
Facebook is in the midst of rolling out enhanced privacy settings and menus as well as app updates. The special permission given to Zuckerberg has been applied to messages he sent several years ago, whereas messages sent from regular users remain in recipient's inboxes unless they're manually deleted. We started approving these permissions in 2014, but now we're tightening our review process - requiring these apps to agree to strict requirements before they can access this data. Unfortunately, you can't really control who Facebook gives your data to.
Foo Siang-tse, managing director of cyber security services provider Quann, said that the misuse of personal data could have bigger ramifications. You can find more information here.