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Facebook gave researcher anonymized data on 57 billion friendships

The Guardian reports today that Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan’s relationship with Facebook wasn’t limited to his now infamous “thisisyourdigitallife” app. He had actually also received an additional sizable chunk of data from Facebook that he used for a research paper published in 2015. This dataset, however, differs quite a bit from that collected through Kogan’s personality app. While large in volume, this other set was anonymized and aggregated with no personally identifiable information included. As the 2015 research paper states, the data included “every friendship made on Facebook in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level,” which summed up to over 57 billion friendships.

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