Cambridge Analytica: Warrant sought to inspect company

20 March, 2018, 04:43 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • BRITAIN-FACEBOOK  HQ

After it turned out that the firm that had done consulting work for the Trump campaign was harvesting information on 50 million Facebook users without their permission, an undercover TV report revealed that it's also been trying its hand at some more ... old-school political maneuverings.

In response to the allegations, the social network rejected any responsibility for the development, essentially saying that what happened was in line with its policies at the time.

The data was then used to send targeted political ads to people in 2016 United States election and the Brexit vote, The Observer reports.

Following this report, Zuckerberg is now being asked to provide an explanation by legislators in both the USA and the UK, The Washington Post reports.

If the revelations that Cambridge Analytica acquired the records of 50 million Facebook users has you wondering how to protect your own personal information, you may already have discovered the maze of privacy settings the social networking site offers. The legislators don't want anyone else other than the Facebook founder, either.

Facebook shares sank $13.43 in midday trading, putting the stock on pace for its biggest one-day fall since August 2012 and dragging down the rest of the technology sector, with fears rising of increased government regulation. But experts say it's hard to conclude whether data collection by a Trump-affiliated political firm, Cambridge Analytica, influenced the election. "Then, that app would crawl through their friend network and pull all of the data from their friends also".

"This is part of a comprehensive internal and external review that we are conducting to determine the accuracy of the claims that the Facebook data in question still exists", Facebook said.

The company on Monday disputed the report and others published over the weekend about the company's use of massive troves of Facebook data.

"We now make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools", Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post about his 2018 goals.




Robert Ricci, a marketing director at Blue Fountain Media, says what makes this case more insidious is its connection with possible elections meddling, something Facebook has been under scrutiny for.

Were you surprised that a researcher could access so much data and allegedly pass it to a third party in violation of Facebook's data use rules?

Experts are saying that Cambridge Analytica, the political firm under fire for inappropriately obtaining data from Facebook, isn't alone in its data-mining capability.

Alphabet, Google's parent company, lost nearly 3 percent and Microsoft fell nearly 2 percent.

In the report by UK's Channel 4, hidden camera footage captures Cambridge Analytica's chief executive Alexander Nix describing some of the tricks and tools his company uses to get information about people.

"This is based on an idea called 'informational dominance, ' which is the idea that if you can capture every channel of information around a person and then inject content around them, you can change their perception of what's actually happening", Wylie said Monday on NBC's "Today".

"Cambridge Analytica will try to pick at whatever mental weakness or vulnerability that we think you have and try to warp your perception of what's real around you", Wylie told ABC News in the interview.

Wylie says he doesn't know to what extent Trump's campaign used the techniques. Trump's campaign CEO, who later became White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon served as a vice-president of the political consulting firm.

Facebook on Friday suspended the firm, but pushed back against the claim of a major breach, suggesting misused data was limited to a far smaller group of users.

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