We learn yesterday that 64,000 of us may be caught up in the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Funny how once something hits home, it feels more real.

Our Privacy Commissioner, who has deleted his own Facebook account, is seeking more information. But what we do know is that three million New Zealanders have Facebook. Of the Kiwis possibly affected, just 10 are estimated to have downloaded the personality quiz app thisisyourdigitallife that facilitated the breach.

But here's the rub. Even though only 10 downloaded the app, it could've affected thousands of their friends' accounts, given information was gathered, unauthorised, from accounts tied into these.

Advertisement

That in itself, is a good wake-up call for each and every one of us.

How many of us had our news feeds manipulated? How else was the information used? It seems many are not waiting for the answers to that - Facebook accounts are already being deleted by people who've lost trust and faith in the site. And rightly so.

No matter how much Mark Zuckerberg tries to apologise or explain, or reassure, that ship's sailed.

Facebook's been far too slow to take action against Cambridge Analytica.

Those affected by the data breaches or the app download will be notified by Facebook.

From today, there'll be information at the top of your Facebook news feed on what apps you're connected to and how to delete them. You should also be notified if your data has been accessed.

But whether we ever know the extent of it, remains to be seen. Zuckerberg likened it to an arms race: impossible to control. Well, that's reassuring.

About 87 million people worldwide have been affected by this, so it's unsurprising people are quitting the platform. But that's before we get to millennials who've apparently been quitting Facebook anyway, saing it as a bit old school for them. It's more a place for their parents to hang out.

Advertisement

A recent UK study of 1000 Gen Z members, (post-millennials) found 41 per cent of them felt it was too much of a time waster, the content was boring. Well, there's only so many pictures of cats and babies you can handle really, but they also wanted more privacy: 22 per cent valued privacy.

On top of this, an Australian study this week showed quitting Facebook might also be good for your health.

Of the people who stopped using Facebook for five days, tests showed that their cortisol (stress hormone) levels reduced.

But, and there is a but, these people also felt disconnected socially. Unplugging from a virtual world full of faux "friends" makes us feel disconnected? Really?

If I had to weigh up reducing stress and protecting my privacy versus feeling socially connected in a virtual environment, I know which I'd pick. Instagram though... well, that's another story.