Facebook suspends Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica

Facebook suspends Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica

Facebook suspends Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica said it helped the Trump campaign pull off its narrow win in key swing states by psychologically profiling millions of voters using data from Facebook, so those voters could be microtargeted with messages tailored and tested to persuade them.

The suspension was issued because Cambridge Analytica received Facebook data from hundreds of thousands of users in a way that violated Facebook's guidelines, the company said Friday in a blog post.

Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who said he helped obtain the data, told Britain's Observer that Cambridge Analytica's entire operation was created to "exploit" what they knew about people from their profiles and "target their inner demons".

This company, Global Science Research (GSR), was contractually committed by us to only obtain data in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act and to seek the informed consent of each respondent.

Facebook also said on Friday that after becoming aware that "not all data was deleted", it was "moving agressively to determine that accuracy of these claims". "That was the basis that the entire company was built on".

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign paid Cambridge Analytica $5 million to help target voters.

That data included information from Facebook users' friends and contacts, as well.

Facebook told the companies which bought the data to delete it immediately, and said it was given assurances the information would be destroyed.

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Facebook has suspended a data mining firm that is said to have been used by President Uhuru Kenyatta's party, Jubilee, in the last election.

Facebook further said that about 270,000 people across the world downloaded the said App.

During that closely contested campaign, it correlated online data with almost 47,000 on-ground surveys.

But Wylie, who later became a whistleblower, told the Observer: "We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people's profiles". According to Confessore and Hakim, Cambridge Analytica convinced Parscale (who has since agreed to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee) to "try out the firm". According to the Observer, Facebook failed to alert affected users about the breach, and "took only limited steps to recover and secure" the private information. The Observer investigation also called into question the veracity of evidence given by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to investigators - not least an official British political inquiry (Byline.com).

In 2017 polls, a report by London-based Privacy International said Cambridge Analytica engineered divisive social media campaigns in the country.

What Facebook didn't reveal was the true extent of the data leak-which the New York Times and The Guardian disclosed in stories they published just hours after the company's announcement.

Furthermore, the perception that Facebook got hoodwinked in this manner hurts its reputation in terms of vetting interested parties who want to use Facebook.

Facebook said it was rigorously continuing to investigate the claims, adding, "We will take legal action if necessary to hold them responsible and accountable for any unlawful behaviour". For this, before, the users can "review the permissions the developer is requesting and choose which information to share" before deciding to download an app.

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