Facebook is currently investigating the relationship between one of its employees and a data firm that was used for Trump’s presidential campaign that it suspended, Cambridge Analytica.
Cambridge Analytica held information on 50 million Facebook users and used this as an advantage. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook became an outlet to sway voters.
Joseph Chancellor worked at the Global Science Research as a director during the time when they supplied data to Cambridge Analytica, although he was employed as a researcher for Facebook and is currently being looked at for suspicious actions. Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and Aleksandr Kogan, a data scientist at C.A., from using it.
Both Chancellor and Kogan developed Global Science Research when they were at Cambridge University. They were then appointed as directors to Global Science Research and the company was discontinued in 2017. Facebook commented that Kogan “lied to us” and “violated our policies” by “passing data” in 2015 to Cambridge Analytica.
As of yet, there isn’t much information on Chancellor’s awareness of Kogan’s data collection. A representative for Cambridge Analytica stated that “there was no recollection of any interactions or emails with” Chancellor.
In 2014, Cambridge Analytica contracted the Global Science Research company to “undertake a large scale of research project in the United States.” A survey app referred to as “thisisyourdigitallife” was used to obtain the data on Facebook users and was established through Global Science Research.
“None of the data from [Kogan’s] academic research was transferred for commercial use,” said a representative for Cambridge.
A detailed description of the app and its intentions stated that “this app is part of a research program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. We are using this app for research purposes – learning about how people’s Facebook behavior can be used to better understand their psychological traits, well-being, health, etc. and overcome classic problems in social science. Users of the app will be presented with a description of the types of data we gather and the scientific purpose of the data.”
It also went on to say that users’ data would be “carefully protected” and “never used for commercial purposes.”
Despite the fact that the way Kogan collected the data followed Facebook’s policies, Kogan shared the data with other parties, which did not follow policy.
Many social media users are angered at Facebook and its use in the election, wanting Facebook to be completely done.