Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. It sounds like the stuff of spy novels. A secretive company backed by an eccentric billionaire taps into sensitive data gathered by a University of Cambridge researcher. The company then works to help elect an ultranationalist presidential candidate who admires Russian President Vladimir Putin. Oh, and that Cambridge researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, worked briefly for St. Petersburg State University.
Facebook said in a statement on Friday that it had learned in 2015 that a Cambridge University psychology professor had lied to the company and violated its policies by passing data to Cambridge Analytica from a psychology testing app he had built. Facebook said it suspended the firms and researchers involved.
Britain's Information Commissioner will seek a warrant to search computers and servers used by the London-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), which is accused of using the personal data of tens-of-millions of Facebook members to influence 2016's US presidential election. Elizabeth Denham said the company had failed to cooperate after she issued a Demand for Access to records and data it held on 7 March. "Cambridge Analytica has not responded to the commissioner by the deadline provided. Therefore, the Information Commissioner is seeking a warrant to obtain information and access to systems and evidence related to her investigation," her office said in a statement. A whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, who worked with CA, claimed the company had amassed the data of some 50 million people through a personality quiz on Facebook called This is Your Digital Life, created by academic Aleksandr Kogan, of Global Science Research.
Controversial data mining company collected information on at least 87 million Facebook users. LONDON -- Cambridge Analytica created its own Facebook quizzes and questionnaires to collect reams of data on users using the social networking giant, according to a former senior official at the data mining company. Brittany Kaiser, the former director of program development at Cambridge Analytica, told British lawmakers on Tuesday that the company, which is at the center of a broader Facebook data scandal, widely used such practices, including a "sex compass" quiz, to garner insight on people's online habits. These data-collection strategies made it highly likely that more people's Facebook data had been collected without their knowledge than previously thought, according to Kaiser. Cambridge Analytica is already accused of using a third-party app created by Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University professor, to collect online information on up to 87 million Facebook users.