Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica, firm linked to Trump campaign

18 March, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica the data analysis firm that worked on the Trump campaign		
		Jonathan Shieber					Taylor Hatmaker		
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That, as it turns out, is the number reported by a New York Times story on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica published Saturday, citing documents and people familiar with the collection and use of the data.

Facebook has announced it is suspending Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, over concerns about violations of the social media site's policies.

He said that "no data from GSR was used by Cambridge Analytica as part of the services it provided to the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign".

"We exploited Facebook. and built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons".

The revelation comes via whistleblower Christopher Wylie, a founder of Cambridge Analytica who left in 2014 but remained a key member of data harvesting team.

The data firm which helped Trump to win, has come under strict scrutiny in the probe into Russian election interference.

He created an app called thisisyourdigitallife which was presented as a "a research app used by psychologists" and promised to give a personality prediction.

"It's part of our ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes which was launched to consider how political parties and campaigns, data analytics companies and social media platforms in the United Kingdom are using and analysing people's personal information to micro-target voters".

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The app was downloaded by about 270,000 people. Facebook removed his app and demanded that he and those he shared data with certify the records were destroyed. "We will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens", Facebook vice president Paul Grewal said in a statement.

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

Facebook issued a statement Saturday underscoring that its policies now prevent a repeat of what Kogan and Cambridge Analytica did. It added, "Cambridge Analytica convinced Parscale to "try out the firm". The company claims to build psychological profiles based on personal details from millions of Americans that can categorize individual voters.

Cambridge Analytica has denied any wrongdoing, saying that although it had hired Kogan to carry out research, it deleted his information when they learned it had been obtained under suspicious circumstances.

A whisteblower, who helped found the data firm, has explained how the largest data leaks in the social network's history allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate. In a statement given to The Observer, the social media company claims Kogan's app "gained access to this information in a legitimate way and through the proper channels" but "did not subsequently abide by our rules" as the info was passed along to third parties.

CNN reported that no one from the Trump campaign was copied on the email, the sources said.

Cambridge Analytica says it uses "behavioural microtargeting", or combining analysis of people's personalities with demographics, to predict and influence mass behaviour.

According to the Times, ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, Cambridge Analytica received a $15 million investment from Republican donor Robert Mercer, and "wooed" his political adviser Steve Bannon.



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