Hard as it is to believe, it was only a week ago that reports first broke—in The Guardian and The Observer, along with The New York Times—that Trump-affiliated data company Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of 50 million unwitting Facebook users to create so-called psychographic political ads. Were we ever so young!
The Cambridge Analytica story only got worse, as an undercover sting video from the UK’s Channel 4 News showed company executives discussing extortion, fake news, and other unsavory tactics. Cambridge CEO Alexander Nix later denied engaging in that sort of activity, but the company has suspended him, pending further investigation.
If all of this has left you worried about Facebook and your data, which it should, here’s our complete guide to protecting privacy on your account—or deleting it altogether.
Believe it or not, there was non-Facebook news this week too! (Although if you want even more Facebook news, here’s a comprehensive guide to our coverage.) Google’s sister company Jigsaw introduced a free, homebrew VPN called Outline that makes private browsing easy. And Google itself rolled out a set of tools to keep its cloud clients safe, including from their own misconfiguration messes.
Tumblr Friday also finally came clean about the Russian propagandists who flooded its platform during the 2016 election, months after Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress about their comparable woes. In other election news, the stars may have finally aligned for people to stop talking about how to secure the vote and actually start taking concrete action.
Also Friday, the US has indicted nine Iranians for a sweeping