Everything You Need To Know About Cambridge Analytica Scandal

1 year ago Hassan Kalam | Hunt Media Desk 0

Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a London bases data analytics and political consulting firm. It was established in 2013 as a subsidiary of its American parent company SCL Group. It is a British company that specialises in combining data, analytics and strategy for the electoral process.

What is Cambridge Analytica Scandal?

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie, a 28-year old former employee of the company, He revealed that Aleksandr Kogan’s app of personality profiling, ‘thisisyourlife’ enabled Cambridge Analytica to harvest the data of 50 million facebook users without their consent. The app was merely downloaded by 2,70,000 Facebook users but somehow it pulled in data from their “Facebook friends” as well. It enabled Cambridge Analytica to drive Information campaigns based on the preferences and vulnerabilities of these users (for instance). Wylie claimed the data sold to Cambridge Analytica was then used to develop “psychographic” profiles of people and deliver pro-Trump material to them online.

Britain’s Channel 4 News aired a sting operation on Monday where CEO of Cambridge Analytica Alexandra Nix and its other members were caught on camera talking about using ill methods to help political candidates win votes around the world. These ill methods included using women, misinformation and bribes, and making video tape of these conversations and later posting them online in order to destroy the credibility of the candidate. However, they claimed that the reporters tricked the company, and that it never had any intention of carrying out the scenarios discussed.

Facebook’s involvement in the scandal

Facebook has said that data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica legitimately and denied that Mr. Kogan’s app involved data breaches but it came to their notice in 2015 that he did not abide by Facebook’s rules by passing on the information to CA/SCL. Facebook banned Kogan’s app in 2015 and ordered all parties to certify that data given to them has been destroyed. Recently reports surfaced indicating that now all of the data were destroyed.

“The entire company is outraged we were deceived. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information and will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens,” Facebook said in a statement released Tuesday. The social media giant added its senior executives would continue to “work around the clock to get all the facts.”

What next for CA and Facebook?

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are at the center of an ongoing dispute of acquiring personal data without the consent of the users. The dispute has raised concern whether these data influenced the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the Brexit vote.

U.K. Electoral Commission and Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) are investigating CA for its role in the Brexit referendum as well as by the, based on previous reports about its dubious methods. Cambridge Analytica has denied the use of any of this data in the Trump campaign.

U.S. senators have urged Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to appear before it to answer questions on CA’s data usage. European Parliament has said it will also investigate the issue.

Following the broadcast of Channel 4 News’ sting operation, Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, was suspended. “In the view of the board, Mr Nix’s recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation,” Cambridge Analytica said in a statement.

Cambridge Analytica said it would proceed to carry out a full and independent investigation following the reports.

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