Personal Facebook information from more than 1.3 million Kentuckians was shared without their knowledge, according to data provided by the social media network to Attorney General Andy Beshear.
While Facebook has previously acknowledged outsiders gained access to data on 87 million users, the company provided state numbers to state attorneys general. The number of Kentuckians affected by the breach is 1,310,682, Beshear announced Tuesday.
“It’s alarming to now know that over a quarter of Kentucky’s population had their Facebook shared with Cambridge Analytica and other third parties,” Beshear stated. “My office will continue to push until we have full and total information on the breach. We expect full cooperation on the many questions we have asked.”
In March, it was reported that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm once operated by former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, obtained personal information from Facebook users without permission. That data was allegedly used to target voters and influence the 2016 election.
The Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices in March. Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He admitted he did not do enough to prevent Facebook from being used for harm.
Zuckerberg explained that in 2013, a Cambridge researcher created a personality quiz app for the social media platform that was downloaded by 300,000 people. That app was able to retrieve information from the users’, as well as their friends. During the testimony, he apologized for the breach of private data.
“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here,” he said.
Facebook told Beshear that the total number of impacted users nationwide is more than 70.4 million. The number has fluctuated repeatedly in part because Facebook has reported different totals. Earlier this month, Facebook acknowledged that third-party apps had scraped and shared data of most of its 2 billion users without explicit permission.
The Attorney General’s office has provided a guide to assist individuals who have been compromised by security breaches on its website.