The Observer: Facebook Profiles Harvested

A whistleblower has exposed how Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm, relied on a software program and Facebook user profiles to target voters with political advertisements. The number represents about a quarter of the US electorate. “Documents seen by the Observer, and confirmed by a Facebook statement, show that by late 2015 the company had found out that information had been harvested on an unprecedented scale,” report Carole Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison for the Observer, sister publication of the Guardian. “However, at the time it failed to alert users and took only limited steps to recover and secure the private information.” Global Science Research and Cambridge Analytical teamed up to pay users to take a personality test with an app called thisisyourdigitallife and allow their data be collected for academic use. But the app also collected data from the users’ friends, a violation of Facebook policy. Facebook knew about the data breach for two years but did not warn users as required by most US states. US and British agencies are investigating the role of both companies in the 2016 US presidential election and the British referendum for exiting the EU, and both nations could consider more regulations for online political advertising. – YaleGlobal

The Observer: Facebook Profiles Harvested

Whistleblower describes how Cambridge Analytica, linked to former Trump campaign manager, compiled Facebook user data to target US voters
Carole Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison
Monday, March 19, 2018

Read the article from the Observer about how Cambridge Analytica obtained Facebook’s user data and targeted voters with online political advertising.

Carole Cadwalladr grew up in Wales and is now a features writer for The Observer. Her first novel, The Family Tree, was published in 2006.         

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