Facebook begins informing 45,000 users in Ireland about data-sharing

Facebook placing link at top of users’ news feeds to tell them if information was shared with Cambridge Analytica

Facebook has begun the process of alerting up to 45,000 Irish users who may have had their data improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

From Monday evening, Facebook has been placing a link at the top of users’ news feeds that will tell people if their information was shared with the consultancy firm.

All users, including friends affected by the scandal, will be directed to a link giving further information on apps that use their Facebook accounts, and show what information those apps can access. It will also show them how to remove apps from their account.

The move was announced last week by Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer.


Only 15 people in Ireland installed the app This is Your Digital Life out of a total of 300,000. However, because of the way Facebook worked at the time, the app was also able to access data from friends of those who installed it. That meant up to 87 million accounts globally may have been affected, including 44,687 Irish account holders.

Facebook has 2.7 million registered Irish users.

The social network said an investigation into the incident showed the majority of users – 81 per cent – affected by the incident were in the US.

Email addresses

Facebook has since made changes to prevent a repeat of the incident, limiting the data apps could access from 2014. It has also disabled the ability to search the site for friends through email addresses and phone numbers, saying it believed users had data scraped in this way.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before a joint hearing of the senate judiciary and commerce committees in the US on April 10th.

“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well,” Mr Zuckerberg’s written statement to US congress said.

“That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake.

“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist