Facebook's Open Graph, Cambridge Analytica hired Aleksandr Kogan, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump's presidential election, Christopher Wylie, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation
The Cambridge Analytica Data scandal was one of the breaches which involve the political & social wrongdoings which integrated America's mammoth social media service, Facebook, questioning the integrity and security of social media and voting methods. This Scam was so huge that it made "Donald Trump" has the 45th President of the United States.
Information about the data breach was disclosed in 2018 by Christopher Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, in interviews with The Guardian and The New York Times.
Cambridge Analytica acquired Facebook data on tens of millions of Americans citizens without their permission to build a “psychological warfare tool,” which is unleashed on US voters to help elect Donald Trump as president. Just before the news came, Facebook banned all the "so-called" guilty members from Wylie, Cambridge Analytica, its parent company SCL, to Aleksandr Kogan, the researcher who collected the data, from the platform.
On April 21, 2010
Facebook Launches Open Graph:
In 2010, Facebook announced the launch of platform called "The Open Graph" for third-party applications which will allow the external developers to reach out to Facebook users to request permission for the access of large of information which will include not only their personal data but also their Facebook Friends personal data too!
If the update of policies would be accepted from users, these third-party applications would have access to a user’s name, gender, location, birthday, education, political preferences, relationship status, religious views, online chat status, and more. In fact, with these additional permissions from third-party, external sites could also gain access to a person’s private messages.
After the launch of facebook's "The Open Graph", Zuckerberg wrote the op-ed for "The Washington Post" in which he vowed to resolve the problem of personal information leak.
Mark Zuckerberg said:
“We have also heard that some people don’t understand how their personal information is used and worry that it is shared in ways they don’t want. I’d like to clear that up now.”
Application created ‘This Is Your Digital Life’
Aleksandr Kogan, a data scientist at the University of Cambridge, was hired by Cambridge Analytica to develop an app called "This Is Your Digital Life" which will prompt users to answer questions for a psychological profile.
Cambridge Analytica arranged an survey which was an informed consent of facebook users which was "paid survey" and was only for academic use!
However with this illusionary scam survey of CA, not only facebook allowed application to collect the personal information from the survey respondents, but also from their facebook friends. In a result, they have behemoth of facebook data.
Almost 300,000 users were thought to have been paid to take the psychological test harvesting their personal data.
Facebook changes the Rules:
In 2014, Facebook altered it rules and put the limitations to a third-party developers to access the user data. To retrospect the damage and not come into spotlight of this unethical activity.
However, the rule changes were not retroactively imposed and Kogan did not delete the data thought to have been improperly acquired.
DECEMBER 11, 2015
Ted Cruz's Presidential Campaign
The uninformed personal data collected by Cambridge Analytica than was first reported in 2015 to used in presidential campaign of Ted Cruz. Means , the CA was helping the Ted Cruz.
It reported that Cruz paid the company $5.8 million in services.
Although, the CA was not popular at the time, but after it came into spotlight of creating individual psychographic profiles of facebook users, it gain immediate attention.
The Republican candidate Ted Cruz was using psychological data from CA in an attempt to gain an advantage over his political rivals.
U.S. Presidential Election
If we dig deeper, the roots were started years before the United States Elections, in which US billionaire "Robert Mercer" played a key role with ‘sinister’ advice on using Facebook data to help bankroll Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency.
Robert Mercer helped to finance the Trump campaign and directed his data analytics firm to provide expert advice in Campaign for how to target voters via facebook: this activity was declared to the electoral commission.
Cambridge Analytica has 25 years of experience in military disinformation campaigns and “election management”, claims to use cutting-edge technology to build intimate psychometric profiles of voters to find and target their emotional triggers.
Donald Trump's campaign team began investing heavily in Facebook ads which involved the help of Cambridge Analytica.
Trump’s team paid the firm more than $6m (£4.8m) to target swing voters.
March 17, 2018
Expose by WhistleBlower from Employee from Cambridge Analytica:
Christopher Wylie, the employee of CA, revealed the alleged practices to both newspapers-The Guardian and The New York Times. Wylie gave the statement that the data was sold to Cambridge Analytica to develop “psychographic” profiles of people which was used in Trump Presidential Campaign.
It was reported that 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested for Cambridge Analytica in a major data scandal. This number than proliferated to 87 million Facebook profiles.
March 20, 2018
FTC launch inquiry for "Cambridge Analytica Scandal"
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened an investigation to examine whether the Facebook violated a settlement reached with the U.S. government agency in 2011 over privacy protections.
Facebook was encountered with many questions following reports that political research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to the private information of more than 50 million Facebook users.
Than Mark Zuckerberg was invited to present before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Facebook had declined firstly to the invite by saying that Zuckerberg is not the right person to justify the Cambridge data leaks
But Congress wanted to hear testify on Facebook’s data leak from Zuckerberg’s side.
After that, The Guardian and The New York Times had reported that Cambridge Analytica was hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign, used improperly obtained personal information from a Facebook so-called "psychology quiz app" to target voters during the 2016 U.S. election. Aleksandr Kogan, the application creator, told Facebook that he was using the information for research purposes but sold the data to third parties.
Kogan had since defended himself by saying that he made Facebook aware the information could be used for other purposes. After that, Facebook defended back by saying he asked Cambridge Analytica to delete the information when it was made aware the data was shared without proper consent in 2015. Cambridge Analytica said it followed with Facebook’s request, and did not use the information during the past election.
MARCH 25, 2018
‘SORRY WE DIDN'T DO MORE’
After the reports were published all around, Zuckerberg took out full-page ads in a number of British and American newspapers to apologize for a "breach of trust."
FTC Imposes $5 Billion Penalty and Sweeping New Privacy Restrictions on Facebook
The $5 billion penalties against Facebook is the largest ever imposed on any company for violating consumers’ privacy and almost 20 times greater than the largest privacy or data security penalty ever imposed worldwide. It is one of the largest penalties ever assessed by the U.S. government for any violation.
These scandal has badly deteriorated the image of Social Media Applications and questions the entire Tech Industry. If Zuckerberg had trouble seeing the "risk" associated with sloppy privacy protections back in 2012, how the data will be handled by other firms. Though the FDA imposed a fine on Facebook but the criminal investigation has mitigated on the facebook's data-sharing policies.