This post from Andrew Keene Woods on the Lawfare blog is a great legal primer on the moving parts of the debacle. Woods indicates that this was not a ‘breach’ of data, but it was a breach of trust.
Several key takeaways from this piece by Woods:
[Aleksandr] Kogan did not need to get Facebook data through the back door. He could waltz in through the front door — the door Facebook built for developers.
This was not a breach of Facebook’s network. But it was a breach of users’ trust, general expectations and perhaps also Facebook’s terms of service.
If you’re Kogan, or Cambridge Analytica, expect lawsuits, public hearings and general regulatory hell. Maybe, in the extreme, jail time. If you’re Facebook, expect lawsuits, public hearings, and general regulatory hell. Maybe, in the extreme, the end of the firm as we know it.