The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal that broke a year ago underscored the value and vulnerability of personal data in the internet age. Twelve months and many promises later, the public remains unconvinced about privacy protections amid a wave of data breaches. As sentiment sours and regulators push in, businesses — from Facebook and Google to the smallest of e-commerce firms — could be now compelled to rethink how they do business.

SINGAPORE (Apr 15): In March last year, Mark Zuckerberg posted a 937-word missive on his Facebook page, outlining what the social networking giant had done, and would be doing, to ensure that its users’ data would not be compromised or accessed by third parties that have no business doing so. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” the founder, CEO and chairman of Facebook wrote.

Zuckerberg’s post came five days after public outrage over news that millions of Facebook profiles had been harvested illegally and used to build a software to ultimately influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential race. Cambridge Analytica — a shadowy data analytics firm, now defunct, headed then by presidential candidate Donald Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon — was revealed to have farmed millions of profiles of US voters in order to predict voter choices at the ballot box, and hence work to send them personalised political ads.

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