Since the news about Facebook allegedly allowing access to the private data of its more than 50 million US subscribers to Cambridge Analytica – a British data analysis company – hit stands, the social media giant is constantly under fire. Not only the allegations have raised concerns over whether Facebook data was actually used to influence the results of the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit vote, it has even left India’s two mainstream political parties – BJP and Congress – clashing and accusing each other of having a connection with the data analytics firm. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is already in the dock, along with senior employees at Cambridge Analytica who were caught in a sting operation by Britain’s Channel 4 News allegedly boasting about data manipulation and spreading fake news campaigns to garner easy votes during elections all across the word. However, both firms have denied a role in the same. Both the US and the UK authorities have already began a probe in the entire episode. Even Facebook is probing the entire matter at its end.
Here’s all about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal
Cambridge Analytica scandal
An undercover operation by Britain’s Channel 4 News reporters exposed senior employees at the data analytics firm of allegedly suggesting them about potential use of bribe, sex workers and misinformation to gain political votes across the world. However, the company denied the allegations. After this probe was carried out by the TV news channel, New York Times and The Observer followed up with articles on how data breach actually took place. The data of 50 million US Facebook users was allegedly used to direct messages for political campaigns backed by Cambridge Analytica, most significantly Donald Trump’s election victory and Brexit vote.
In 2014, an app was developed by a company named Global Science Research that paid users to undergo a psychological test. The company also accumulated data on person’s Facebook friends, media reports said. The data was stored in form of a app. The data of around 50 million people were collected in this way and the company then shared the profiles of people with Cambridge Analytica, which in turn developed a software solution to help influence the political choices in elections.