What Is Cambridge Analytica, What’s The Facebook Data Breach And Who Is On The Board Of Directors Of The Company?
A BRITISH company called Cambridge Analytica has been engulfed in a Facebook data scandal, with the UK information commissioner granted a warrant to search their London offices – but why?
Here’s what we know about the data firm, the Facebook data breach and the company’s board of directors.
Getty – Contributor More than 50 million Facebook users may have had their data harvested without their permission
What is Cambridge Analytica?
Cambridge Analytica is a London-based company that helps business and political groups “change audience behaviour”.
They muster up data on normal Brits and Americans that spin doctors can use to create better propaganda.
The company was only set up in 2013, launching as a spin-off project from SCL Group – which does basically the same thing.
It collects data from sources including social media platforms like Facebook.
Getty Images – Getty Cambridge Analytica supposedly bought Facebook data in bulk to influence voters in the UK and USA
What is the Facebook data scandal?
This weekend, The Guardian revealed that Cambridge Analytics had bought data from 50 million Facebook users that was obtained without their permission.
This data was reportedly used to help get US President Donald Trump elected, and also to boost the Brexit campaign in the UK.
The alleged breach came to light thanks to a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower called Christopher Wylie.
“We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles,” Wylie explained.
New York Times Cambridge Analytica co-founder Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on the fiasco
“And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons.
“That was the basis the entire company was built on.”
Now the UK’s Information Commissioner has been granted a warrant to search the data analytic’s firms London offices, amid widespread concern over its work.
Mozilla has become the first major organisation to stop advertising on Facebook, amid the scandal.
The company said it is “pressing pause” on Facebook advertising, at least until the social network strengthens its protections of user data.
How was the Facebook data obtained?
A Cambridge psychology professor called Aleksandr Kogan built an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” in 2015.
It was a personality quiz that asked Facebook users to provide information about themselves.
Through his company Global Science Research, Kogan shared the info obtained from the app with Cambridge Analytica.
Only 270,000 Facebook users actually signed up and took personality tests.
Related: How to download all your Facebook data
But the app also harvested data of all the Facebook friends connected to those users, without the permission of those friends.
Facebook reportedly knew about the data harvesting in 2015, and asked companies holding the data to delete it – but had no way of making sure that they actually did delete it.
This dodgy data harvesting may be illegal in a number of countries, and violates Facebook’s own data policy.
Earlier today, European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said: “Allegations of misuse of Facebook user data is an unacceptable violation of our citizens’ privacy rights.
“The European Parliament will investigate fully, calling digital platforms to account.”
Getty Images – Getty Mark Zuckerberg’s social network Facebook has denied that the misuse of data counts as a “breach”
Who’s on Cambridge Analytica’s board of directors?
Cambridge Analytica is part of SCL Group, with whom it shares some of its directors.
Alexander Nix, 42, is CEO of both Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections.
Mark Turnbull is managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division.
Mr Turnbull spent 18 years at communications firm Bell Pottinger before he joined SCL.
Rex Features Chief executive Alexander Nix arrives at the Cambridge Analytica offices on March 20 2018
Did Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data influence Brexit?
The co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign Arron Banks has repeatedly insisted that Cambridge Analytica helped with pro-Brexit campaigns during the run-up to the 2016 referendum.
But Cambridge Analytica founder Alexander Nix denies this.
Instead, Nix says the companies only had exploratory meetings.
“We didn’t get hitched. We dated each other. We had a couple of dinners but we didn’t get married,” he told MPs at the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee for an investigation into fake news.
But in his book on the EU referendum, Banks said that Cambridge Analytica was “hired” in 2015 to “develop messages” for voters.
However, Nix maintains that Cambridge Analytica “did not work for Leave.EU”, and added: “We have not undertaken any paid nor unpaid work for them.”
“I can only assume that they felt by associating themselves and aligning themselves with Cambridge Analytica, that would give the extra credibility and leverage in trying to compete in a bid where they were clearly the underdogs.”
Elon Musk Joins Delete Facebook Campaign By Binning Spacex And Tesla Pages
ELON MUSK is wiping his companies SpaceX and Tesla from Facebook.
The billionaire entrepreneur made the move in response to a comment on Twitter calling on him to support the delete Facebook movement.
The Sun Elon Musk has been feuding with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg since 2016
Twitter users have been using the #deletefacebook hashtag to convince others to bin the platform, amid the company’s latest privacy scandal.
After admitting that that he didn’t know that Space X had a Facebook page, Musk went and deleted it anyway – along with that of his electric car company Tesla.
Between them the Facebook profiles boasted over 5 million followers.
It’s all likely down to the ongoing feud between Musk and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, which was reignited this week.
On Friday, Musk replied to an earlier tweet by WhatsApp founder Brian Acton, which urged “it is time. #deletefacebook”, by tweeting: “What’s Facebook?”
“Delete SpaceX page on Facebook if you’re the man?” a fan chimed in.
“I didn’t realise there was one. Will do” Musk replied.
Facebook Data Breach – what happened?
Here’s what you need to know…
A personality quiz app obtained data for 270,000 willing Facebook users But it also sucked up info on all of their Facebook friends That meant the app caught data for around 50-60 million users This data was reportedly sold on to UK research firm Cambridge Analytica Cambridge Analytica helps politicians and lobby groups create propaganda The data was supposedly used to boost the Brexit campaign and get Trump into the White House Facebook is said to have known about the data breach since 2015 The social network asked companies with the data to delete it, but didn’t enforce the rule The Guardian revealed the incident in an exposé thanks to Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie There are now serious questions about whether Facebook has broken laws by giving up this data
In additional tweets, Musk promised that the SpaceX page “will be gone soon” and that he’d “literally never seen it even once”.
Another Twitter user also pointed out that Facebook owns Musk’s social network of choice, Instagram.
And the tech mogul admitted that Facebook’s creeping influence was starting to impact the photo-sharing app too.
Confused by the Facebook breach? Check out our helpful guides…
Facebook data scandal EXPLAINED What is Cambridge Analytica? How to see ALL your Facebook data How to delete your Facebook account Why it’s time to delete Facebook How to stop Facebook apps handing over your data Celebs who ditched Facebook before it was cool Facebook’s BIGGEST screw-ups How Zuckerberg wants to fix Facebook
Moments later, Musk had disposed of all his Facebook pages.
The beef between Musk and Zuck stretches back to 2016, when the Facebook boss blamed SpaceX for a failed rocket launch that destroyed his company’s satellite.
Musk later accepted responsibility for the incident in a tweet.
Apple March 27 Event News, Leaks And What To Expect – Including A Cheaper Ipad
THE Apple March 27 event is now just days away, and we’re expecting to see some shiny new gadgets.
The big rumour is around a new iPad that’s cheaper than current models, but we’re also hearing talk of a new Apple Pencil too. Here’s what we know so far…
The Sun Apple’s event is all about education, which can only mean new iPads and maybe a MacBook to boot
And, if we’re really lucky, we may even see a new MacBook Air.
Here’s everything we expect to be announced at the education event in a week’s time.
Apple’s March 27 event – what to expect
An education event seems like a good place to announce a cheaper iPad aimed at schoolkids and students.
It also fits in with recent leaks and rumours, which suggest Apple is working on two new tablets.
The current £339 9.7 inch iPad landed around this time last year, so a new model could well be on the cards.
The next-gen Apple Pencil could work with older iPads
Analyst Daniel Ives of GBH Insights believes that an “entry-level” iPad is the one to look out for.
“Price points for the new iPad could be roughly $50 cheaper in the $275 range,” he told The Sun.
That would likely translate to between £275-£285 for the new device in the UK.
Apple Pencil 2
The Apple logo with its flowing lines in the event invite is pretty much a dead giveaway that a new Apple Pencil is imminent.
In its current form, Apple’s stylus only works with the Apple iPad Pro, so you can expect the next-gen version to be compatible with more devices.
That could include the new, cheaper iPad, too.
A cheaper iPad, priced at £275-£285, could also be released next week
Unfortunately, Apple probably won’t unveil a new MacBook Air – even though an education event seems like a fitting occasion for a laptop launch.
“We believe the chances of a new MacBook Air release next week are low,” Ives told The Sun.
He continued: “Rather, WWDC will be the launching pad for a whole new product line from iPhones to iPads to new Macs.”
WWDC (which stands for Worldwide Developers Conference) is an annual Apple event, which takes place on June 4-8 in California.
Apple Don’t expect to see a cheaper MacBook Pro – Apple may be saving it for a June event instead
Ives added: “Next week we believe Apple will lay some breadcrumbs and hints for the major hardware releases that could be on the horizon in June which will be the focus for customers, and the rest of the Apple ecosystem.”
So, maybe the company will instead tease a MacBook on March 27.
The rumour mill suggests a cheaper version of the current £949 13.3-inch MacBook Air is in the pipeline.
Apple Apple’s invite suggests this will be an iPad and Apple Pencil-themed event
In terms of software, the big launch could well be iOS11.3.
Apple tends to release software alongside new hardware, and the update is an important one.
That’s mainly down to the introduction of a new battery health tool.
The feature lets you view how knackered your battery is, and whether the device is being slowed down.
Remember how Apple massively messed up by admitting that it throttles older phones?
Well, this is to make up for that.
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