In a surprising tweet, WhatsApp Co-founder Brain Acton told his followers on Twitter to delete their Facebook accounts, highlighting that it’s high time that people should skip Facebook. While Acton hasn’t verified his Twitter account but his followers (over 23,000) are aware that the account belongs to him personally and he tweets occasionally.
Acton hasn’t mentioned any specific reason, but anyone can guess that this tweet must have being instigated after recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica personal data scam was revealed. Facebook had acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. After the acquisition, Acton continued with WhatsApp for a while after finally resigning to start the Signal Foundation in February 2018. However, another co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, is still on Facebook's board.
For those unaware, Facebook is recently facing flak worldwide after reports surfaced that political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had access to personal date of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
So, how did Cambridge Analytica get access to the data? As per reports, the data was taken from the creator of the quiz taken by 270,000 Facebook users, according to CNBC. This was not a typical data breach as no IT systems were compromised. The quiz creator had intentionally provided the quiz data (containing personal choices) to Cambridge Analytica against the privacy policies set by Facebook. As per the Vice, Cambridge Analytica CEO was caught on tape saying company’s Facebook scam helped elect President Donald Trump.
Now, reports have revealed that Facebook including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg had information about this data leak but they “remained quiet throughout the scandal.”
“Cambridge Analytica is funded in large part by Robert Mercer, who donated money to President Trump's election campaign, and it helped the Trump campaign target poltical ads on Facebook, but the firm says it did not use any data gained in this incident on the campaign,” said CNBC.
I’m dumping my @facebook stock and deleting my page because @facebook profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it. I encourage all other investors who care about our future to do the same. #unfriendfacebook pic.twitter.com/KHWgZzhhmp— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) February 6, 2018