Facebook staff had concerns about ‘sketchy’ Cambridge Analytica year before 2016 election

25 Août, 2019, 02:10 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Facebook co-founder Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill

Cambridge Analytica harvested data through an app called "thisisyourdigitallife" that offered personality predictions.

One vendor offering beyond Cambridge we're concerned with (given their prominence in the industry) is NationBuilder's "Social Matching", on which they've pitched our clients and their website simply says "Automatically link the emails in your database to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Klout profiles, and pull in social engagement activity".

"Facebook argues that data scraping and harvesting were two separate issues, but when United States and United Kingdom lawmakers asked about this stuff, they rightly expected Facebook to come clean about everything", said Prof David Carroll, an academic in New York City who helped uncover the Cambridge Analytica scandal, on Twitter.

That is contrary to what Mark Zuckerberg said in his testimony.

Recently, Facebook was ordered to pay a $ 5 billion maxi fine, precisely because of the events that saw it involved in the scandal.

By the time Cambridge Analytica was flagged is as high priority, Guardian had already broken the story and on the email thread it is being discussed as PR issue.

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Four Facebook Inc. users revived a lawsuit against the social media company, claiming it invaded their privacy and violated its terms of service by selling their data to Cambridge Analytica and more than 150 other companies.

"It would be very hard to engage in data-scraping activity as you described while still being compliant with FPPs [Facebook Platform Policies]", this person adds. Facebook has issued a response to these new documents trying to downplay these documents, claiming "they will cause confusion" and that there is nothing new being highlighted.

So we can only speculate on whether Facebook's decision - around September 2015 - to hire Kogan's GSR co-founder, Joseph Chancellor, appears as a discussion item in the "Wait, What" thread...

Over the course of the rest of the day, discussion focused on understanding the relationship between GSR, a company formed by Aleksandr Kogan, a former Cambridge University academic, which extracted the data of tens of millions of Facebook users, and Cambridge Analytica, which obtained the data from Kogan and GSR for use in political campaigning. "That is a fact that we have testified to under oath, that we have described to our core regulators, and that we stand by today", reads the blog.

It also claims that after an engineer responded to concerns that CA was scraping data and looked into it they were not able to find any such evidence. "Even if such a report had been confirmed, such incidents would not naturally indicate the scale of the misconduct that Kogan had engaged in", Facebook adds.

"The District of Columbia fought to make this document public because we believe the American people have a right to know what and when Facebook knew about its data security weaknesses", said a spokesman for Racine in a statement Friday. They were released on request of the District of Columbia Attorney General. It also alleges Facebook failed to inform users of the CA breach.

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