Firm Employed by Trump Campaign Tapped Facebook Profiles

"This gets at the heart of, you know, why is it that you're taking this psychological approach?" he said. Former Breitbart News executive director Stephen K. Bannon previously worked as vice president of Cambridge Analytica's board.

"They say 'trust us.' Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before Senate Judiciary", she added, referring to Facebook's CEO and a committee she sits on.

The move means Cambridge Analytica and its parent group Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) can not buy ads or administer pages belonging to clients.

Whistleblower Chris Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, told Channel 4 News a "data grab" had been carried out on more than 50 million profiles in 2014.

The researcher sold the data to Cambridge, which was against Facebook rules, the newspapers said.

A breach by any other name, as Facebook learned over the weekend, is still a breach. Kogan was reportedly able to create more than 50 million profiles using the trend and characteristics data before providing them to Cambridge. "That was the basis the entire company was built on", Whylie, who worked on obtaining the data, told The Observer on March 17.

The social media company also insists that this did not constitute a data breach, as users technically consented - via their privacy settings - to allow Cambridge Analytica to harvest their data.

The app was downloaded by about 270,000 users who allowed access to information.

How has Cambridge Analytica responded?

"This behavior is more consistent with damage limitation than with a genuine attempt to resolve a serious problem", Allen said in the statement.

Facebook's lawyer's letter said the data had been illicitly obtained and it must be deleted immediately.

Did President Uhuru Kenyatta's campaign team use Kenyan data on social media to shape his campaign in the run-up to last year's general election?

The firm is owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump's key adviser Steve Bannon.

In past interviews with Reuters, Brad Parscale, who ran Trump's digital ad operation in 2016 and is his 2020 re-election campaign manager, has said Cambridge Analytica played a minor role as a contractor in the 2016 campaign.

His silence on the matter raises a host of startling questions, particularly given that he has already started making moves to organize his re-election campaign - and until he says otherwise, it's reasonable to wonder if he plans to rely on the firm again.

What is Facebook doing about the data breach?

While I would love to see Cambridge Analytica held responsible for their actions, perhaps Facebook should sue them and make an example out of them, there's still a lot of blame that falls squarely on Facebook.

They also claimed to have conducted a "system-wide audit" to remove data provided to the company by GSR.

That stolen data, according to reports, became the foundation for Cambridge Analytica's efforts to target voters for Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign. Wylie spoke to both outlets, saying he and Kogan "exploited" Facebook.

Facebook has since suspended Cambridge Analytica for violating its policies surrounding data collection and retention, following an investigation.

It only went public with the suspensions after the New York Times reported that some of the data was still available online contrary to assurances made by the company, Mr Wylie and Mr Kogan.

Longtime back Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth tweeted that it wasn't an unequivocally data breach, people choose in sharing their data with the third party apps and anyhow if those third party apps ignored to follow the data deals with them or users it is a case of violation.

  • Salvatore Jensen