Facebook has recently made headlines by suspending a political data firm that was used by Donald Trump's campaign in the 2016 presidential election.
The information was originally obtained by way of an app created by University of Cambridge professor Dr. Aleksandr Kogan. The app, “thisisyourdigitallife,” offered users a form of payment in exchange to participate in a personality test. The user's agreement stated that they would willingly provide their information for academic use.
Facebooks claims that Dr. Aleksandr Kogan's company, Global Science Research, took the information collected and passed it on to Cambridge Analytica. If so, this would be a breach of Facebook's rules. The social media site asked the app to delete all information collected in 2015, however, has recently discovered that the information is still in their care.
More than 50 million Facebooks profiles are said to have been affected as the app collected information from users Facebook friends as well.
Chris Wylie, a former research director at Cambridge Analytica, said, “We were able to get upwards of 50 million-plus Facebook records in the span of a couple of months.”
Dr. Aleksandr Kogan believes that the information he obtained and what he did with it was completely legal.
Cambridge Analytica said that they contracted Dr. Krogan's company “to undertake a large-scale research project in the United States.” They added that they have deleted all of the information they have received from Global Science Research when discovered it was not in line with Facebook's terms of service.
“Cambridge Analytica's Commercial and Political divisions use social media platforms for outward marketing, delivering data-led and creative content to targeted audiences. They do not use or hold data from Facebook profiles,” it added.
“No data from GSR was used by Cambridge Analytica as part of the services it provided to the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign," said Dr. Krogan.
Read more at Yahoo