About Word of the Week Podcast

Facebook is in turmoil after the news broke that Cambridge Analytics harvested information of 50 million users. A data-mining company named Cambridge Analytica is at the heart of a new controversy over online privacy and election interference. The app was removed by Facebook in 2015, and the firm reportedly assured the social media network that it had deleted all the data.

Zuckerberg began 2017 by announcing his intention to visit and meet people in every U.S. state And the fact that he did so surrounded by a group of paid political advisors and a former White House photographer fuelled suspicions that the trips to assembly lines and candy stores were less about self-improvement than laying the groundwork for a future presidential campaign.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into how Cambridge Analytica, ostensibly a voter-profiling company, accessed data about 50 million Facebook users, according to The Wall Street Journal It's not alone: The GOP-controlled Senate Commerce Committee demanded answers from Facebook on Monday, as did Senator Ron Wyden , a Democrat of Oregon.

As soon as Facebook realized that Cambridge Analytica had pursued a similar strategy, they suspended the firm. By claiming that Cambridge Analytica's data use was both not a breach and yet also unauthorized, Facebook is making a shrewd move that may help the company avoid or ameliorate some liability.

One of the most controversial features of Facebook's APIs for third-party apps was known as "Friends Permission." This feature gave developers—including Aleksandr Kogan, the professor whose personality quiz app harvested data for Cambridge—the ability to not only gather information about their own users but also to get data about their friends.

He claimed the Cambridge Analytica scandal was a case of "informational dominance", the idea that if a person is surrounded by certain content, their perception of what is actually happening can change. That was the basis the entire company was built on," Wylie, former research director at Cambridge Analytica, said.

The chair of the U.K. Parliament's select committee on digital, culture, media and sport sent the Facebook chief a letter today requesting his personal presence, as other company executives have previously "been misleading" in their testimony about data use and privacy.

Facebook says Kogan told them he was collecting the data only for academic purposes. As regulators and chaos circle the company following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, scandal Facebook's leader has gone absent without leave. The vast majority of people on Facebook use it to keep in touch with friends, share photos and videos and arrange social events.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham confirmed the move to Channel 4, which on Monday aired a documentary (below) that showed Cambridge Analytics execs - including CEO Alexander Nix - boasting about entrapping politicians, using honey traps and running fake news campaigns.

Rather, it appears that Aleksandr Kogan, who wore dual hats as a psychology researcher with Cambridge University and as an entrepreneur, collected the data through a third-party app on the Facebook platform, using Facebook's API under the auspices of being an academic He then sold or transferred the data to Cambridge Analytica.

Equally important, there were reports that the Congress may have been talking to Cambridge Analytica about the 2019 elections, and even if it doesn't use them now after the scandal, it would definitely look at how modern elections are fought across the world.

Allegations of misuse of Facebook user data is an unacceptable violation of our citizens” privacy rights. This kind of message targeting didn't require using purloined Facebook user data to build psychographic profiles of voters. Of course, the biggest problem with this scandal isn't that Cambridge Analytica is shady—it's that Facebook is.

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