‘Utterly horrifying’: ex-Facebook insider says covert data harvesting was routine | News | The Guardian


This has grown to a huge story!

Hundreds of millions of Facebookusers are likely to have had their private information harvested by companies that exploited the same terms as the firm that collected data and passed it on to Cambridge Analytica, according to a new whistleblower.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tom Warren / The Verge:
    Facebook says it will delete Android users’ SMS and call data older than one year and stop collecting “broader information” such as the time of calls

    Facebook is reducing its Android call history and SMS data collection

    A step back for a feature that never needed so much access

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hannah Kuchler / Financial Times:
    Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook “underinvested” in safety and security and that she and Zuckerberg should have spoken about Cambridge Analytica scandal sooner — Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s second-in-command, said she personally made “mistakes” and that the company had been too slow …

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook data scandal also affects 2.7M EU citizens

    Another data-point to flesh out the Facebook data misuse scandal: The company has informed the European Commission that a total of 2.7 million EU citizens had their information improperly shared with the controversial political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook reportedly suspends AggregateIQ over connection to improper data-sharing

    AggregateIQ, a Canadian advertising tech and audience intelligence company, has been suspended by Facebook for allegedly being closely connected with SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, reported the National Observer.

    News broke late last month that AIQ, which was deeply involved with (and handsomely paid by) pro-Leave Brexit groups, was not the independent Canadian data broker it claimed to be.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New York Times:
    Preparing for Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony, Facebook hired advisers who are coaching him and are role-playing members of congress in mock hearings — For Facebook, Tuesday is being seen as a kind of dreaded final exam. — That’s when Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive …

    Zuckerberg Gets a Crash Course in Charm. Will Congress Care?

    For Facebook, Tuesday is being seen as a kind of dreaded final exam.

    That’s when Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, will swap out his trademark gray T-shirts for a suit and tie, and embark on a two-day marathon of testimony on Capitol Hill. His goal? To apologize for Facebook’s missteps, reassure Congress that Facebook intends to stop foreign powers from using its service to meddle in American elections and detail the company’s plans to better protect its users’ privacy.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Zeynep Tufekci / Wired:
    Despite repeated apologies over 14 years from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has continued to violate users’ privacy, driven primarily by its business model

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lähes 20 000 suomalaista saa tänään Facebookilta ikävän viestin – pian selviää, ovatko tietosi vuotaneet

    Facebook to contact 87 million users affected by data breach

    Message will reveal which users had personal information was harvested by Cambridge Analytica

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Says Data From 87 Million Users Could Be Stored In Russia

    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie says the data the firm gathered from Facebook could have come from more than 87 million users and could be stored in Russia. Wylie added that his lawyer has been contacted by U.S. authorities, including congressional investigators and the Department of Justice, and says he plans to cooperate with them. Aleksander Kogan, a Russian data scientist who gave lectures at St. Petersburg State University, gathered Facebook data from millions of Americans. He then sold it to Cambridge Analytica

    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: Data could have come from more than 87 million users, be stored in Russia

    (CNN)Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie says the data the firm gathered from Facebook could have come from more than 87 million users and could be stored in Russia.

    The former Cambridge Analytica employee said that “a lot of people” had access to the data and referenced a “genuine risk” that the harvested data could be stored in Russia.
    “It could be stored in various parts of the world, including Russia, given the fact that the professor who was managing the data harvesting process was going back and forth between the UK and to Russia,” Wylie said.

    When asked if he thought Facebook was even able to calculate the number of users affected, Wylie stressed that data can be copied once it leaves a database.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook shut down Russian APT28 trolls before the 2016 U.S. election

    The most interesting part of Mark Zuckerberg’s prepared testimony for Congress that was released today shows that Facebook has been fighting Russian election interference since before the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Facebook shut down accounts related to Russian GRU military intelligence-linked group APT28, also known as Fancy Bear, which had created an organization called DCLeaks run by fake personas to seed stolen information to journalists.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Shepardson / Reuters:
    Sources: Mark Zuckerberg will meet with some US lawmakers today, a day before he is due to appear for congressional hearings — WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg will hold meetings with some U.S. lawmakers on Monday, a day before he is due to appear …

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wall Street Journal:
    Some Facebook staff say current scandal is mostly being hyped by the media; source: the scandal isn’t deterring job applicants broadly, according to Zuckerberg — Many workers are undaunted by user-data scandal; issues are mostly hype, some say — Facebook Inc. FB .46% may be losing friends …

    For Facebook’s Employees, Crisis Is No Big Deal

    Many workers are undaunted by user-data scandal; issues are mostly hype, some say

    Facebook Inc. may be losing friends over its privacy policies but its employees appear to be rallying around the company and its cause.

    The state of employee morale is being closely monitored at Facebook

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook launches new initiative to support independent academic research about the impact of social media on democracy and elections

    Facebook Launches New Initiative to Help Scholars Assess Social Media’s Impact on Elections

    Today, Facebook is announcing a new initiative to help provide independent, credible research about the role of social media in elections, as well as democracy more generally. It will be funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Democracy Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

    At the heart of this initiative will be a group of scholars who will:

    Define the research agenda;
    Solicit proposals for independent research on a range of different topics; and
    Manage a peer review process to select scholars who will receive funding for their research, as well as access to privacy-protected datasets from Facebook which they can analyze.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to Check if Cambridge Analytica Could Access Your Facebook Data

    n 2014, a researcher named Alexander Kogan created a personality quiz that 270,000 Facebook users would go on to install. From those downloads alone, he was able to harvest the personal information of up to 87 million people, according to Facebook’s most recent estimate. He then passed that data along to Trump-affiliated political firm Cambridge Analytica, which would use it to target voters in the 2016 presidential election. Now Facebook has finally released a tool that lets you know whether you were affected.

    Beginning at noon EDT on Monday, some Facebook users will see one of two messages at the top of their News feed. Both use the header Protecting Your Information, with one focusing on Cambridge Analytica and the other providing more general guidance about controlling which apps and websites currently have access to your data.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook data breach hits 63,714 New Zealanders after 10 people download quiz

    Tech company is alerting everyone affected as the country’s privacy chief demands to know if Cambridge Analytica used the information

    Ten New Zealanders who downloaded an app on Facebook could have exposed up to 63,714 of their compatriots to the data mining tactics of Cambridge Analytica.

    Facebook has told the country’s privacy commissioner that it is in the process of alerting New Zealanders who were affected by the breach, which occurred when ten users downloaded a personality quiz app.

    “For New Zealand, we estimate a total of 63,724 people may have been impacted – 10 are estimated to have downloaded the quiz app with 63,714 friends possibly impacted,” said Antonia Sanda, head of communications for Facebook in Australia and New Zealand.

    New Zealand’s privacy commissioner, John Edwards, said he was urgently seeking further information from Facebook on how New Zealanders data was used by Cambridge Analytica, and is working closely with his counterparts in the US, UK Australia and Canada to establish the severity and ramifications of the privacy beach.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How can I tell if my info was shared with Cambridge Analytica?

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cambridge Analytica may have accessed some Facebook users’ messages


    Cambridge Analytica may have accessed some Facebook users’ messages
    Devin Coldewey
    @techcrunch / 6 hours ago

    The app permissions that led to 87 million Facebook users’ data being harvested and sold to Cambridge Analytica may have also allowed access to those users’ inboxes, the company confirmed today. This wasn’t achieved by any underhanded means, exactly, but people might not have realized that they were granting permission to read and record their private messages as well as more public data like location and interests.

    “A small number of people who logged into ‘This Is Your Digital Life’ also shared their own News Feed, timeline, posts and messages which may have included posts and messages from you,” reads the warning.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Christopher Knaus / The Guardian:
    Just 53 Australians and 10 New Zealanders used the Facebook quiz app that Cambridge Analytica gleaned data from, but ~375K users in the countries were affected

    Just 53 Australians used Facebook app responsible for Cambridge Analytica breach

    Most of 310,000 Australians affected by breach did not directly consent to harvesting of their personal details

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Michelle Castillo / CNBC:
    Facebook debuts a Data Abuse Bounty to reward those who report misuse of data by app devs; payouts are for cases affecting 10K+ users and range from $500-$40K

    Facebook is offering a $40,000 bounty if you find the next Cambridge Analytica

    Facebook is launching a data abuse bounty program to ask its users to help it find companies using unauthorized data.
    It will pay from $500 to upward of $40,000 for substantiated cases.
    Only Facebook is included in the program at this time, not other platforms like Instagram.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Issie Lapowsky / Wired:
    Facebook confirms some users’ private messages were collected by quiz app that Cambridge Analytica used to glean data, says 1,500 people were affected — THE DATA CONSULTING firm Cambridge Analytica, which harvested as many as 87 million Facebook users’ personal data, also could have accessed …

    Cambridge Analytica Could Also Access Private Facebook Messages

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Senate Committee on the Judiciary:
    Full video: Mark Zuckerberg’s first hearing before Congress, titled “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data”; hearing begins at 40:07 — Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation DATE: Tuesday, April 10 …

    Washington Post:
    Full transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s first day of congressional hearings —

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark Zuckerberg’s data was collected by third parties

    In questioning before the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce today, Mark Zuckerberg said that his personal Facebook data was harvested as part of the sweep of personal data that was used by third parties like Cambridge Analytica.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    John Herrman / New York Times:
    People quickly trusted tech companies with personal info amid a data boom, despite risks, spawning resentment and distrust after the Cambridge Analytica scandal

    Cambridge Analytica and the Coming Data Bust

    The queasy truth at the heart of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, which is so far the company’s defining disgrace of 2018, is that its genesis became scandalous only in retrospect.

    The series of events that now implicate Facebook began in 2014, in plain view, with a listing on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, where users can complete small tasks for commensurately modest sums of cash. In exchange for installing a Facebook app and completing a survey — in the process granting the app access to parts of your Facebook profile — you would get around a dollar. Maybe two.

    This was a great deal, at least by the standards of the time. Facebook users were then accustomed to granting apps permission to see their personal data in exchange for much less. It was the tail end of a Facebook era defined by connected apps: games like FarmVille, Candy Crush and Words With Friends; apps that broadcast your extra-Facebook activities, like Spotify and Pinterest; and apps that were almost explicitly about gathering as much useful data as possible from users, like TripAdvisor’s Cities I’ve Visited app, which let you share a digital pushpin map with your friends.

    Most of these apps, when installed, demanded permission to access “your profile info,” which could include things like your activity, birthday, relationship status, interests, religious and political views, likes, education and work history.

    The ease and speed with which internet users trust tech companies with the data they crave are wildly out of proportion with the risks they’re assuming in doing so.

    Whenever you sign up for any free service, you’re aware, in the loosest terms, that you’re giving up something. It usually includes a license to use the content you create

    And its users unwittingly took part in a social-data boom and are only now starting to feel the consequences.

    After all, Facebook spent years fortifying itself against hackers and spammers only to be rolled by political actors posing as app developers.

    This pattern — a boom based on credible-seeming promises that are a little too good to be true, followed years later by a bust confirming that they indeed were — is familiar from a different world: finance.

    The disorienting and thoroughly unsatisfying Cambridge Analytica saga is a preview of what trailing indicators of the collapse of the data boom might look like

    A loss of faith in tech companies as semipublic infrastructure would also arrive simultaneously with an understanding that that’s what they had been all along: services that we depended on, ones we gave ourselves to, and that revealed themselves to be — or merely became — the sorts of services we’d rather not. They’re not too big to fail in the banking sense.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New York Times:
    As Mark Zuckerberg takes heat for the way Facebook handles personal information of its users, the leaders of other tech companies have kept a low profile

    Facebook Takes the Punches While Rest of Silicon Valley Ducks

    Mr. Zuckerberg was prepared to say that his company accounts for just a slice of the $650 billion advertising market and that it has plenty of competitors. Google, for example, has an online advertising business more than twice the size of Facebook’s. And Google also collects vast amounts of information about the people who use its online services.

    But as Facebook has taken it on the chin over the way it has handled the personal information of its users, the leaders of other tech companies have demonstrated that even in publicity-hungry Silicon Valley, it is entirely possible for billionaire executives and their sprawling empires to keep a low profile.

    What set Mr. Zuckerberg apart?

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sam Biddle / The Intercept:
    Leaked doc describes new Facebook tool that predicts when users may leave a brand for a competitor, enabling advertisers to target and try to keep them

    Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Predict Your Future Actions for Advertisers, Says Confidential Document

    The recent document, described as “confidential,” outlines a new advertising service that expands how the social network sells corporations’ access to its users and their lives: Instead of merely offering advertisers the ability to target people based on demographics and consumer preferences, Facebook instead offers the ability to target them based on how they will behave, what they will buy, and what they will think. These capabilities are the fruits of a self-improving, artificial intelligence-powered prediction engine, first unveiled by Facebook in 2016 and dubbed “FBLearner Flow.”

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wall Street Journal:
    Facebook marketing exec says users generally haven’t changed settings amid the recent privacy scandals and that it doesn’t expect any revenue impact

    Facebook Doesn’t Expect Revenue Impact Over Privacy Concerns

    Company marketing executive says users generally haven’t changed privacy settings amid recent concerns

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
    Based on ARPU, Facebook might have to charge $11-$14 for monthly subscriptions to offset ad revenue, but it would empower users with choice and a sense of value

    The psychological impact of an $11 Facebook subscription
    Would it make us love or hate ads?

    Would being asked to pay Facebook to remove ads make you appreciate their value or resent them even more? As Facebook considers offering an ad-free subscription option, there are deeper questions than how much money it could earn. Facebook has the opportunity to let us decide how we compensate it for social networking. But choice doesn’t always make people happy.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Issie Lapowsky / Wired:
    Study: of 228 groups found running divisive Facebook ads during 2016 election, 122 were “suspicious” and ran 4x more ads than others, ~20 had known links to IRA

    How Russian Facebook Ads Divided and Targeted US Voters Before the 2016 Election

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alex Hern / The Guardian:
    Ex-Cambridge Analytica employee tells UK Parliament that Kogan/GSR’s Facebook datasets/questionnaires were not the only ones CA used, cites two other FB quizzes — Far more than 87 million people may have had their Facebook data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, according to evidence from former employee Brittany Kaiser.

    Far more than 87m Facebook users had data compromised, MPs told

    Former Cambridge Analytica employee gives evidence before parliamentary committee

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Thomas Fox-Brewster / Forbes:
    Surveillance firm Terrogence, a US government vendor, has been building a massive facial recognition database from photos on Facebook, YouTube, and other sites — When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica revelations …

    These Ex-Spies Are Harvesting Facebook Photos For A Massive Facial Recognition Database

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New York Times:
    Cambridge Analytica planned to raise funds via an ICO to create a system that would let people store and sell their online data to advertisers, says ex-employee — SAN FRANCISCO — The embattled voter-profiling firm Cambridge Analytica quietly sought to develop its own virtual currency …
    Inside Cambridge Analytica’s Virtual Currency Plans

    The embattled political data firm Cambridge Analytica quietly sought to develop its own virtual currency in recent months through a so-called initial coin offering, a novel fund-raising method that has come under growing scrutiny by financial regulators around the world.

    The offering was part of a broader, but still very private push that the firm was making into the nascent world of cryptocurrencies over the last year.

    Much like its acquisition of Facebook data to build psychological profiles of voters, the new business line pushed the firm into murky ethical and legal situations. Documents and emails obtained by The New York Times show that Cambridge Analytica’s efforts to help promote another group’s digital token, the Dragon Coin, associated the firm with a famous gangster in Macau who has gone by the nickname Broken Tooth.

    The goal of Cambridge Analytica’s own coin offering? Raise money that would pay for the creation of a system to help people store and sell their online personal data to advertisers, Brittany Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, said in an interview. The idea was to protect information from more or less what the firm did when it obtained the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alex Hern / The Guardian:
    Ex-Cambridge Analytica employee tells UK Parliament that Kogan/GSR’s Facebook datasets/questionnaires were not the only ones CA used, cites two other FB quizzes — Far more than 87 million people may have had their Facebook data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, according to evidence from former employee Brittany Kaiser.

    Far more than 87m Facebook users had data compromised, MPs told

    Former Cambridge Analytica employee gives evidence before parliamentary committee

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Daily Beast:
    Breitbart News gave Cambridge Analytica exclusive rights to resell its engagement data in 2016, former Cambridge Analytica employee tells UK Parliament

    Cambridge Analytica Had Exclusive Rights to Breitbart Data, Says Ex-Director

    Richard Waters / Financial Times:
    Fallout from data collection scandal has not spread much beyond Facebook to include other platforms because it is hard to pinpoint harm from privacy violations — It is nearly four weeks since the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted, and something surprising has happened. — Or rather, not happened.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ryan Mac / BuzzFeed:
    In interview Kogan admits he broke Facebook’s ToS but his app was within norms, says he worked on 10+ papers with Pete Fleming, now Instagram’s head of research — Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University academic whose app has set off the firestorm about online user data, says he’s considering suing Facebook.

    Cambridge Analytica Data Scientist Aleksandr Kogan Wants You To Know He’s Not A Russian Spy

    Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge University academic whose app has set off the firestorm about online user data, says he’s considering suing Facebook.

    Aleksandr Kogan wants to set the record straight. “I am not a Russian spy,” he tells BuzzFeed News aboard a Saturday evening flight to the British capital.

    On Tuesday, the Cambridge University researcher is set to testify here in front of a parliamentary committee that is looking to determine whether the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica influenced global elections and the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote. At the hearing, Kogan, who’s been accused of being a foreign agent, an unscrupulous scholar, and a mind manipulator, hopes to dispel the myths about himself and the data he collected from millions of Facebook users and handed to Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Elections.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cambridge Analytica Says it is ‘No Bond Villain’

    Cambridge Analytica claimed Tuesday it was “no Bond villain” as it vehemently denied exploiting Facebook users’ data for the election campaign of US President Donald Trump.

    The marketing analytics firm stressed it had deleted data about Facebook users obtained in breach of the social network’s terms of service.

    The information had been gathered via a personality prediction app developed by academic Aleksandr Kogan’s research firm Global Science Research (GSR).

    Cambridge Analytica (CA) insisted it did not use the data during Trump’s 2016 campaign and did not support the pro-Brexit side in Britain’s referendum on its European Union membership that same year.

    Spokesman Clarence Mitchell claimed the company had been portrayed like the enemy in a James Bond film.

    “Cambridge Analytica is no Bond villain,” he said.

    “While no laws were broken, we have acknowledged where mistakes have been made.”

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Twitter also sold data access to Cambridge Analytica researcher


    Twitter also sold data access to Cambridge Analytica researcher
    Jordan Crook
    @jordanrcrook / 1 hour ago

    Since it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the personal data of millions of Facebook users, one question has lingered in the minds of the public: What other data did Dr. Aleksandr Kogan gain access to?

    Twitter confirmed to The Telegraph on Saturday that GSR, Kogan’s own commercial enterprise, had purchased one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets from a five-month period between December 2014 and April 2015. Twitter told Bloomberg that, following an internal review, the company did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.

    Twitter sells API access to large organizations or enterprises for the purposes of surveying sentiment or opinion during various events, or around certain topics or ideas.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cambridge Analytica shuts down in light of ‘unfairly negative’ press coverage

    Cambridge Analytica is done. In light of the sprawling controversy around its role in improperly obtaining data from Facebook users through a third party, the company will end its U.S. and U.K. operations.

    In a press release confirming the decision, the company said that “unfairly negative media coverage” around the Facebook incident has “driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers,” making its business no longer financially viable. The same goes for the SCL Group, Cambridge Analytica’s U.K.-based affiliate and parent company

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wall Street Journal:
    Cambridge Analytica is shutting down following the Facebook data misuse scandal, says it was losing clients and facing mounting legal fees — Company had lost multiple clients in recent months — Cambridge Analytica , a data firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign …

    Cambridge Analytica Closing Operations Following Facebook Data Controversy
    The data company had lost clients in recent months

    New York Times:
    Filing shows executives at Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group, along with the Mercer family, have moved to create a new firm, Emerdata, possibly for “rebranding” — The embattled political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced on Wednesday that it would cease most operations …
    Cambridge Analytica to File for Bankruptcy After Misuse of Facebook Data

    The embattled political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced on Wednesday that it would cease most operations and file for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign.

    The decision was made less than two months after Cambridge Analytica and Facebook became embroiled in a data-harvesting scandal that compromised the personal information of up to 87 million people. Revelations about the misuse of data, published in March by The New York Times and The Observer of London, plunged Facebook into crisis and prompted regulators and lawmakers to open investigations into Cambridge Analytica.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata
    Shock shutdown – THE TRUTH

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Carole Cadwalladr / The Guardian:
    UK’s ICO orders Cambridge Analytica to hand over data it has on a US voter who brought a complaint, including how the data was obtained and what it was used for

    UK regulator orders Cambridge Analytica to release data on US voter

    In landmark cross-border decision, Information Commissioner’s Office gives company 30 days to comply with David Carroll’s request

    Cambridge Analytica has been ordered to hand over all the data and personal information it has on an American voter, including details of where it got the data and what it did with it, or face a criminal prosecution.

    The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) served the enforcement notice to the company on Friday in a landmark legal decision that opens the way for up to 240 million other American voters to request their data back from the firm under British data protection laws.

    The covering letter from the ICO says that if Cambridge Analytica has difficulties complying, it should hand over passwords for the servers seized during its raid on the company’s office – something that raises questions also about what it has managed to retrieve from the servers so far.

    Paul-Olivier Dehaye, a data expert who helped Carroll with his request, said that his website, PersonalData.io, had received a flood of inquiries from people who wanted to reclaim their data from Cambridge Analytica and other companies.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alexander J Martin / Sky News:
    European Parliament president says Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will give evidence to the European Parliament in person as early as next week — Mark Zuckerberg will appear before the EU Parliament in person to answer questions about Facebook’s use of data. — The hearing will “hopefully” …

    Zuckerberg agrees to face EU Parliament over Facebook data use

    Facebook has said 2.7 million people in the EU could have been affected by the data-sharing scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alex Hern / The Guardian:
    With GDPR imminent, investigation finds Facebook lacks privacy controls for information inferred about users, including sensitive details used in ad targeting — Social network categorises users based on inferred interests such as Islam or homosexuality — Facebook allows advertisers …

    Facebook lets advertisers target users based on sensitive interests

    Social network categorises users based on inferred interests such as Islam or homosexuality

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New York Times:
    Sources: DOJ and FBI are investigating Cambridge Analytica and “associated US persons”, seeking info from former employees and banks that handled its business

    Justice Department and F.B.I. Are Investigating Cambridge Analytica

    The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are investigating Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political data firm, and have sought to question former employees and banks that handled its business, according to an American official and other people familiar with the inquiry.

    Prosecutors have questioned potential witnesses in recent weeks, telling them that there is an open investigation into Cambridge Analytica — which worked on President Trump’s election and other Republican campaigns in 2016 — and “associated U.S. persons.”

    The investigation compounds the woes of a firm that has come under intense scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in the United States and Britain since The New York Times and Observer in London reported in March that it had harvested private data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles, and that it may have violated American election laws. This month, Cambridge Analytica announced that it would shut down and declare bankruptcy, saying that negative press and cascading federal and state investigations had driven away customers and made it impossible for the firm to remain in business.

    Cambridge Analytica grew out of the SCL Group, a well-established British company that specialized in psychological research for defense and intelligence agencies but also worked on election campaigns, chiefly in developing countries.

    In 2014, SCL executives persuaded Mr. Mercer to bankroll a new United States-based firm, Cambridge Analytica, that would break into the growing political data market with a promising new product: psychological profiles of millions of American voters.

    Over the past year, Cambridge’s efforts to break into commercial data and marketing work had suffered from the company’s association with Mr. Trump, according to former employees. And in the months before shutting down, Mr. Nix, the Mercer family and SCL’s owners had considered new ventures together.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cambridge Analytica Shared Data With Russia: Whistleblower

    Political consulting group Cambridge Analytica used Russian researchers and shared data with companies linked to Russian intelligence, a whistleblower told a congressional hearing on interference in the 2016 US election Wednesday.

    Christopher Wylie, who leaked information on the British-based firm’s hijacking of data on millions of Facebook users, told a Senate panel he believes Russian intelligence services had access to data harvested by the consultancy.

    Wylie told the panel that Russian-American researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who created an application to harvest Facebook user profile data, was working at the same time on Russian-funded projects, including “behavioral research.”

    “This means that in addition to Facebook data being accessed in Russia, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that CA may have been an intelligence target of Russian security services…(and) that Russian security services may have been notified of the existence of CA’s Facebook data,” Wylie said in his written testimony.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mehreen Khan / Financial Times:
    Majority of European Parliament members are pushing for Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony, due to be given in a private session on Tuesday, to be streamed live — MEPs have revolted against plans for Mark Zuckerberg to attend a closed-door grilling in the European Parliament next week

    MEPs push for live-streaming of Mark Zuckerberg hearing

    Facebook chief was to take part in a closed-door meeting in European Parliament next week

    MEPs have revolted against plans for Mark Zuckerberg to attend a closed-door grilling in the European Parliament next week, demanding that the meeting be live-streamed on the internet.

    “It is disgraceful how Zuckerberg promises more transparency, but does not want to make public statements in the European Parliament”, said Sven Giegold, a Green MEP.


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