Trump-linked firm Cambridge Analytica had private data of 50M people: report
Cambridge Analytica, the data firm the Trump campaign used during the 2016 election, obtained the private information of more than 50 million people without their permission, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Facebook suspended the firm on Friday for not fully deleting data given to them by Aleksandr Kogan, a University of Cambridge professor.
The 50 million Facebook profiles the firm harvested without permission allowed it to plan techniques for President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Times reported.
Kogan obtained the information from an app he created, which used a Facebook login.
Thirty million of the profiles provided by Kogan contained enough information for the firm to create psychographic profiles, according to the Times, which reported that only 270,000 people had given permission for their data to be collected.
“Although Kogan gained access to this information in a legitimate way and through the proper channels that governed all developers on Facebook at that time, he did not subsequently abide by our rules,” Facebook Vice President Paul Grewal said in a statement announcing that the company was suspending the firm.
“By passing information on to a third party, including SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, he violated our platform policies,” he added.
Grewal said that Facebook had discovered the violation in 2015 and demanded that Cambridge Analytica certify that it had destroyed the data.
Yet, in recent days, Facebook said it received reports that — contrary to the certifications it had received — the firm had not deleted all its data.
“If true, this is another unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments they made. We are suspending SCL/Cambridge Analytica, Wylie and Kogan from Facebook, pending further information,” Grewal said.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly requested all the emails between the firm and the Trump campaign. The firm’s CEO, Alexander Nix, has also reportedly been interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee.