It feels like a million years ago, but it was only this past spring when the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked the online world. The controversy, which revolved around a since-defunct data analytics firm that gathered the information of some 87 million Facebook users without their permission, entered the mainstream in a way no Facebook issue has before or since. And, according to experts, it could have marked a turning point in how users think about their online privacy.
According to a recent report in CNET, privacy advocates see 2018 as the year people finally woke up to the ways their data is being used (and abused) online. And Facebook’s massive scandal in the spring had a lot to do with that. For the first time, many users became aware of how much information Facebook possesses, and the creepy ways it has harnessed that information for business.
Even Facebook said it wants users to be more aware of their own privacy heading into the new year.
“We think it’s a good thing that people are more interested in using privacy controls and managing their information online,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “In 2019, we want to keep making sure people know about the controls they have available and how to use them.”
It’s too bad it took a massive breach for online privacy to finally become a topic of global conversation, but at least people are taking the issue seriously — and Facebook has been forced to sit up and pay attention, too.