A new data scandal has hit Facebook after it was revealed that the intimate personal details of 3 million users have been exposed.
A popular personality quiz called myPersonality collected highly sensitive data, including the results of psychological tests on people who used the app.
The data was then stored on a website with “poor security precautions” and shared with more than 150 companies and institutions including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft.
The leaked data gave companies access to information on a user’s personality traits including openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
Also included in the leak was other data such as age, gender, location and a history of status updates.
“This type of data is very powerful and there is real potential for misuse,” Chris Sumner at the Online Privacy Foundation told New Scientist who broke the story.
myPersonality was created by the University of Cambridge in 2007 and was used to help create “one of the largest social science research databases in history”, according to its website.
“This data was anonymised and samples of it were shared with registered academic collaborators around the world through the myPersonality project”.
One of the people involved in the myPersonality app, UK-based academic Aleksandr Kogan, helped create the app that harvested the data of 87 million Facebook users, which was exposed last month.
The info was then exposed by Cambridge Analytica, which is accused of using it to help influence the outcome of the Brexit vote and the 2016 US presidential election.
Facebook has said that myPersonality was one of 200 apps that it recently shutdown.
How to check if you are affected
Facebook has said that it will update its “How can I tell if an app may have misused my Facebook information?” page if any apps have misused user data.
If you think you have used the myPersonality app then you should check that link regularly.