The New York Times and the Observer newspaper in Britain revealed Saturday that Cambridge Analytica, a political data-mining and consulting firm, got hold of the personal information of 50 million Facebook users and may have later used it to craft ads and messages for President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
- Massachusetts’ Attorney General Has Launched an Investigation Into the Firm & Authorities Are Also Looking Into Whether the Firm Violated U.S. Election Law by Employing Foreigners
- The Company Spent $800,000 to Create an App to Gather Personality Profiles & Used Those to Gain Personal Information
- Cambridge Analytica Has Ties to Trump Donor Robert Mercer
- A U.S. Professor Filed a Claim Against Cambridge Analytica in a British Court
- Assange Says He Was Contacted by Cambridge Analytica About Hillary Clinton’s Emails & Robert Mueller Has Asked for Company Emails
- Times reported that Cambridge Analytica collected a lot of this information by breaking Facebook’s rules.
- The Mercers, however, are on the boards of only Emerdata, which may indicate that it’s being set up as the successor to Cambridge Analytica.
- The state of New York has joined the existing investigation by the state of Massachusetts into the Facebook data misuse.
- One of the founders of WhatsApp, which Facebook now owns, seemed to support quitting Facebook.
- The first lawsuits over the Facebook scandal have appeared.
- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is launching an investigation to decide if Facebook’s handling of user data, in regards to Cambridge Analytica, is in violation of a 2011 consent decree, Bloomberg reports. The 2011 settlement saw Facebook agree that it would get user consent if changes were made to privacy settings.
- If the FTC finds Facebook as having violated the terms, it can fine the company “more than $40,000 a day per violation.”
- Theoretically, if each of the 50 million people whose data was affected was a U.S. resident, and each account is taken to constitute a violation of the agreement, Facebook could face a fine of $2 trillion.
Facebook has not disclosed which of its users had their data collected. U.K. residents can file a Subject Access Request with the Information Commissioner’s Office to get a copy of data that any U.K. company has about them, but again, the Cambridge Analytica and SCL say the Facebook data is long gone.