Cambridge Analytica's Use of Facebook Data Not an Isolated Case

Today’s topics include a Cambridge Analytica breach revealing Facebook’s weak data defenses, and Microsoft and BlackBerry teaming up on secure mobile Office productivity.

Over Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, reports surfaced saying Facebook allowed data mining company Cambridge Analytica to gather the records of 50 million American users. The data loss occurred when Cambridge Analytica offered to pay Facebook members to conduct research.

While those users were told that their personal profiles would be used, the researchers also obtained the complete profiles of their friends. When Facebook found out about the data loss in 2015, it asked Cambridge Analytica to erase the improperly gathered data, but that never happened.

Facebook is rife with data miners, with data mining operations frequently appearing as games or apps for entertainment, but asking permission to gather users’ profile information and friends’ information as well.

Microsoft and BlackBerry announced a strategic partnership March 19 to improve the security of Office 365 content on mobile devices. The companies created the BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge, an app that enables organizations that use BlackBerry Dynamics to run Microsoft's native Office apps including Excel, PowerPoint and Word within the secure mobile environment.

The integration provides a more consistent experience while working with Microsoft Office files. Content renders as expected, and essential functionality is preserved across all devices. In addition, BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge supports apps from Microsoft that are protected by Intune, the software giant's own mobile device and app management platform.

This adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that content is encrypted and shared appropriately and in accordance to an organization's compliance policies.