Facebook data misuse row continues as new reports emerge

Nichole VegaApr 02, 2018

After receiving flak over flawed user privacy framework that enabled Cambridge Analytica access personal data of millions of users, Facebook scaled up security measures earlier in the week.

This data was allegedly used to influence the outcomes of the Brexit poll and the USA presidential election.

There's also been renewed interest in Facebook's data practices recently after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a third-party data firm, allegedly misused information from tens of millions of Facebook users during the 2016 election campaign.

It said the firm carried out caste census and research campaigns with interviews in states as well as general elections.

It was then that he "came to appreciate that the projects I was working on may have had a much wider impact than I initially anticipated it would", Wylie said, adding, "Donald Trump makes it click in your head that this has a much wider impact. It's unnerving to think that someone has and is keeping track of that information".

Wylie also alleges Aggregate IQ broke U.K. laws on spending limits to sway the country's 2016 referendum that set Brexit, the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, into motion.

Facebook said although Kogan was given access to the private information "in a legitimate way and through the proper channels that governed all developers on Facebook" back in 2014, the professor violated Facebook's Platform Policies.

In a recent appearance before British Parliament, ex-Cambridge programmer Christopher Wylie shocked delegates by stating that he had no doubt that his former employer had manipulated the Brexit referendum and the 2016 U.S. presidential election and broken the law.

Instead, data aggregators falling under Partner Categories supplement companies with data they may not otherwise have, helping marketers and Facebook target users better. "This is what modern colonialism looks like", he said. It has been established that Congress was a client of Cambridge Analytica.

This was co-ordinated with the lead "Vote Leave" group in a breach of British electoral funding rules, Wylie alleged.

The statement said Cambridge Analytica did not "have the opportunity to get into personality models", relied on "audience segments that Facebook and other online platforms make available to all advertisers" and did not use bots.

He also claimed that Canadian firm - AggregateIQ (AIQ) - was involved in the development of the software used to target voters.

Cambridge Analytica, the Trump campaign-linked data firm under fire for sweeping collection of Facebook data, issued an expanded statement Thursday about its practices in the 2016 United States presidential election.

The newly released documents sparked an outcry in India, where the government formally asked both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook in the past week whether Indian citizens' personal data had been compromised or used to affect the outcome of elections.

According to Wylie, who has spoken publicly to various media organizations, he wanted to hire Silvester and Massingham to work for SCL Elections, a subsidiary of Cambridge Analytica's parent company SCL Group, in London.

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