Cambridge Analytica, a firm that has played a role in over 200 elections around the world, has been harvesting data from you and your entire network through Facebook.
Cambridge Analytica, a London-based data marketing firm, has breached private information rules. Through a personality quiz application created by Aleksandr Kogan, data of some 50 million Facebook users was gathered to create micro-targeted content. In claiming that the company uses “data to change audience behavior,” Cambridge Analytica harvested Facebook profile information, gaining insight to influence election results around the world.
In 2016, Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories, ran operations for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by reaching voters with the user data they obtained. Undercover recordings were recently released of CEO Alexander Nix stating that his company’s online campaign used methods that had a pivotal role in the US election. By utilizing niche-marketing tactics, Cambridge Analytica allegedly gave Trump an unfair advantage over his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Nix has been suspended, and Facebook continues to face harsh scrutiny for its role in the scandal.
On March 21, CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology for Facebook’s mishandling of personal information and called the intervention “a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it.”
In this video by The Guardian, whistleblower Christopher Wylie, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, discusses the firm’s marketing methods that were used to weigh in on election results.
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