Facebook Scrutinized for Massive Privacy Breach

Elias Hubbard
March 21, 2018

Facebook has become the target of boycott calls following accusations data company Cambridge Analytica harvested consumer information. The company provided help to the Trump campaign. He said around 200,000 people were recruited to do the survey.

Asked if the government would initiate a probe on data use by Facebook, Prasad said that India had a regulator in the form of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and in case of any specific complaints, the same would be taken under a structured investigation.

Mr Wylie said the data of about 50 million users was harvested in about two months by accessing those users' friends networks.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a long-term investigation of alleged Russian interference in USA politics and a detailed examination of United States election security precautions, would carry out its own inquiry of Cambridge Analytica, a Congressional official with direct knowledge of the investigation said. We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims.

UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has said she would apply for a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica offices, and the head of the UK's inquiry into fake news has requested Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg give answers about Facebook having previously misled it. He said the accuracy of the dataset had been "exaggerated" by Cambridge Analytica, and said the dataset was more likely to hurt Trump's campaign.

In an earlier interview with the BBC's Newsnight, Nix said: "A lot of the allegations that have been put to Cambridge are entirely unfounded and extremely unfair". The firm insisted it followed the correct procedures in obtaining and using data.

Further concerns surround the effect on democratic elections.

"The allegations also highlight the limited rights Americans have to their data".

Shares of Facebook had already lost 6.8 percent on Monday.

Clinton added the possibility that Cambridge Analytica were involved in Russia's alleged attempt to influence the election was "very disturbing". The GSR app that was taking the data apparently had permission to do so for "academic purposes only". Cambridge Analytica, has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts.

USA and European lawmakers have demanded an explanation of how Cambridge Analytica gained access to user data in 2014 and why Facebook failed to inform its users, raising broader industry questions about consumer privacy.

In footage released Monday, Nix said the company could "send some girls" around to a rival candidate's house, suggesting that girls from Ukraine are lovely and effective in this role.

In a statement , it said it fully complied with Facebook's terms of service and did not hold data from Facebook profiles. "It was about how to suppress voters who were inclined to vote for me ... when you have a massive propaganda effort to prevent people from thinking straight, because they're being flooded with false information". GSR was also contractually the Data Controller (as per Section 1 (1) of the Data Protection Act) for any collected data.

Daniel Kreiss, a professor of media and communications at the University of North Carolina, said Facebook failed to live up to its responsibilities on election ads.

Incidentally, this is not the first standoff between the Indian policymakers and Facebook.

Cambridge Analytica have announced they have suspended their CEO Alexander Nix as undercover footage was released of the firm's executives boasting about their role in getting Donald Trump elected as US President. We did all the analytics.

Calls for investigations came on both sides of the Atlantic after Facebook responded to explosive reports of misuse of its data by suspending the account of Cambridge Analytica, a British firm hired by Trump's 2016 campaign.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article