Facebook Suspends Trump-Linked Data Firm for Obtaining User Data


A prominent data firm that worked with President Trump's campaign reportedly exploited Facebook data to harvest "millions" of profiles of US voters without their permission.

Cambridge Analytica was suspended on Friday after reports that it had not fully deleted data it obtained from Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan.

Facebook said Kogan had requested and gained access to information from 270,000 Facebook members after they chose to download his mobile device application.

In total, more than 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested by Cambridge Analytica to build a system to target US voters with political ads, a whistleblower told the papers.

"We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims", Facebook's vice president and deputy general counsel, Paul Grewal, said in a statement.

Cambridge Analytica meanwhile said it was in touch with Facebook "in order to resolve this matter as quickly as possible".

It has worked on other campaigns in the United States and other countries, and is funded by Robert Mercer, a prominent supporter of politically conservative groups.

"We were able to get upwards of 50 million plus Facebook records in the span of a couple of months".

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That, as it turns out, is the number reported by a New York Times story on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica published Saturday, citing documents and people familiar with the collection and use of the data.

A Cambridge Analytica spokesman refuted all of Wylie's claims, calling his decision to speak to the media "a malicious attempt to hurt the company".

Speaking to US National Public Radio host Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air on Monday, Clinton said she was probing what happened with Kenya's presidential election and why the Supreme Court invalided it.

"People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked", the company said.

Through Kogan's company Global Science Research (GSR), in collaboration with Cambridge Analytica, hundreds of thousands of users were paid to take a personality test and agreed to have their data collected for academic use, the Observer said. "Cambridge Analytica was supposed to be the arsenal of weapons to fight that culture war". In addition, Facebook should never have believed assurances that Cambridge Analytica destroyed the information - nor should the company have waited three years to take action, according to several tweets.

With its suspension of policy violators and its steady protective measures to uphold the safety of user experience on its platform, Facebook proves why it continues to be a favorite among the social network users.

Facebook said in a statement dated March 16 that is suspended from Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. It removed Kogan's app and demanded certifications from Kogan, Cambridge and Wylie that the information he had shared had been destroyed.