Facebook rocked by Cambridge Analytica expose

By : |March 23, 2018 0

While we all know that Facebook’s platform was misused for political ads during 2016 US Presidential elections, the finger so far was being pointed only towards some Russian operatives. Now, in new revelations, UK-based data-consultancy firm Data Analytica has taken the spotlight for reportedly acquiring data about millions of Facebook users in a way that violated the social network’s policies.

The company then tapped that information to build psychographic profiles of users and their friends, which were utilized for targeted political ads in the UK’s Brexit referendum campaign, as well as by Trump’s team during the 2016 US election.

In a sting operation, senior executives at Cambridge Analytica, including its CEO Alexander Nix, were caught on camera suggesting the firm could use sex workers, bribes and misinformation in order to try and help political candidates win votes around the world.

Cambridge has been largely funded by Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to the president who became an early board member and gave the firm its name.

While Facebook, earlier suspended Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), along with its political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, for violating its policies around data collection and retention, CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally took responsibility for what happened.

In a Facebook post, he said he is working to prevent similar abuses of user privacy. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Zuckerberg also laid out a three-step plan to rebuilding user trust. In the most significant step, Facebook will remove developer access to your data if you haven’t used it in three months. The company is also performing audits on apps that have access to user information. He also said that Facebook will notify “anyone whose data may have been shared.”

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