How Cambridge Analytica got access to personal data from Facebook?

19 March, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Angel Logan
  • New Facebook London office

No data from Kogan's Global Science Research company "was used by Cambridge Analytica as part of the services it provided to the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign", the representative said. However, the professor claimed the data firm did not disclose how it got all the information.

The revelations come at a time of intense US scrutiny of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, with 13 Russians criminally charged last month with interfering to help Donald Trump. While the method of obtaining users' personal information aligned with Facebook's policies, " he did not subsequently abide by our rules", Facebook said in the statement. A whistleblower revealed to the Observer how the firm used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual U.S. voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. "He also passed that data to Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, Inc.", Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Facebook Paul Grewal wrote.

Collins said Facebook has "consistently understated" the risk of data leaks and given misleading answers to the committee.

"They say 'trust us.' Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before Senate Judiciary", she added, referring to Facebook's CEO and a committee she sits on.

A spokesperson for Cambridge University told CNN that Kogan, who still works for the university, assured them "that none of the data from his academic research was transferred for commercial use".

The revelation that 50 million people had their Facebook profiles harvested so Cambridge Analytica could target them with political ads is a huge blow to the social network that raises questions about its approach to data protection and disclosure.

Within GOP data circles, however, the company's extravagant claims about the effectiveness of Facebook data and artificial intelligence are heavily criticized. CNN points out that Chancellor and Kogan were both listed as directors when GSR incorporated in May 2014, according to United Kingdom government records, but Cambridge Analytica claims "no recollection" of any emails or calls with Chancellor. Wired reporter Issie Lapowsky told CBSN Saturday that by convincing 270,000 people to interact with the app, GSR managed to tap into the data of over 50 million users.

Cambridge Analytica said Saturday in a statement that it fully complied with Facebook's terms of service and was working with the social media company to resolve the matter.

As Facebook executives wrangle on Twitter over the semantics of whether this constitutes a "breach", the result for users is the same: personal data extracted from the platform and used for a goal to which they did not consent.

The latest incident has raised new questions about what technical guardrails Facebook has in place to prevent authorised users from sharing sensitive information, and how much visibility the company has into how outsiders use the data.

That position is coming under scrutiny, as well.

Explaining why it suspended Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group from Facebook, Grewal on Friday said, "In 2015, we learned that a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge, Aleksandr Kogan, lied to us and violated our platform policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica".

Many users expressed skepticism at Facebook's commitment to change.

How has Cambridge Analytica responded?

He claimed it involved users being offered a small amount of money to complete a survey, on the condition they consented to share personal details through Facebook.

CNN reported Sunday that Carroll asked Cambridge Analytica previous year to provide the data it had gathered on him.


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