Everything you need to know about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica
As has already been reported, Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm that helped Donald Trump get elected as the US president, obtained user data of around 50 million people from Facebook before the presidential elections in 2015. The data was then allegedly used to manipulate US voters. Now amid growing allegations, Facebook has suspended the account of the whistleblower who first exposed the issue.
Christopher Wylie of Cambridge Analytica gets suspended on Facebook
Wylie has wrongly harvested millions of people's profiles: Facebook
Christopher Wylie claims to have architected the technology that Cambridge Analytica used to develop targeted advertising strategies. However, Cambridge Analytica has refuted the extent of his involvement and said that he was just a contractor for the company. On the issue of account suspension, Facebook said that it cannot lift it since "Mr Wylie ... exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people's profiles."
Cambridge Analytica used Facebook Login feature to obtain user information
In 2015, Cambridge Analytica created an app called 'thisisyourdigitallife' and used the Facebook Login feature to get information on 270,000 people. These users created accounts on the app through Facebook and thus allowed it to access personal data like name, location, and e-mail. During that time Facebook also let developers collect users' friends' information, giving Cambridge Analytica access to data of 50 million users.
Facebook has since updated its terms of service
In defense, Facebook, that has since suspended Cambridge Analytica from its service, said its platform wasn't breached, but that its terms of service were violated. However, Facebook agreed its terms weren't very good and has changed them to limit the information third parties can collect.
Facebook's Chief Security Officer takes part blame
I have deleted my Tweets on Cambridge Analytica, not because they were factually incorrect but because I should have done a better job weighing in.— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) March 17, 2018
Cambridge Analytica's next destination: India
Notably, Cambridge Analytica, along with its India partner Oveleno Business Intelligence, is looking to offer its services in the country ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In this regard, it has reportedly spoken to both the Congress and the BJP for a possible collaboration.