Massachusetts launches probe into Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data
Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey (D) announced Saturday that her state will launch an investigation into Cambridge Analytica, a data firm used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, after Facebook suspended the firm.
“Massachusetts residents deserve answers immediately from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. We are launching an investigation,” Healey tweeted.
— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) March 17, 2018
Cambridge Analytica was suspended on Friday after reports that it had not fully deleted data it obtained from Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan.
The professor was found to have harvested more than 50 million Facebook profiles from his app, which required a Facebook login, despite only 270,000 having given permission for their data to be harvested, according to a New York Times report Saturday.
About thirty million of the profiles Kogan gave the firm had enough information to create psychographic profiles, the newspaper reported.
Facebook said discovered that the firm had violated its rules in 2015 and demanded that the firm certify it had destroyed the data it had received. The firm provided the certification.
However, Facebook said it suspended the firm after recent reports came out that said Cambridge Analytica did not destroy all of 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,” Facebook Vice President Paul Grewal said in a statement issued Friday.
“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. By passing information on to a third party, including SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, he violated our platform policies,” the statement read.
Cambridge Analytica has come under scrutiny for its involvement in the 2016 presidential election. President Trump’s former strategist and chief campaign executive Steve Bannon was a former vice president of the firm.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly requested all the emails between the firm and the Trump campaign and the firm’s CEO has been reportedly interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee.