Facebook has suspended a data processing company that has been accused of significantly shady influence peddling with American and British voters.
Cambridge Analytica's activities were suspended on Friday after it was demonstrated that they had not deleted private data despite their claims that they had.
Per Facebook's public statement:
Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do, and we require the same from people who operate apps on Facebook. In 2015, we learned that a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan lied to us and violated our Platform Policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica, a firm that does political, government and military work around the globe.
But not so fast. A day later, both the New York Times and the Guardian published a joint report that reporters from both newspapers had asked Facebook about Cambridge Analytica having never deleted about 50 million users' worth of data. "During a week of inquiries from The Times, Facebook downplayed the scope of the leak and questioned whether any of the data still remained out of its control," the Times report stated. "But on Friday, the company posted a statement expressing alarm and promising to take action."
Cambridge Analytica came to national prominence during the 2016 election, wherein their creepy New-World-Order-sounding concepts like "Big Data", "Behavioral Microtargeting", and "Psychographic Profiling" were used to boost Donald Trump's campaign to its improbable victory. The company's CEO eerily boasted that it "profiled the personality of every adult in the United States of America — 220 million people."
Now, in their own defense, the company insists that what they do isn't really all that important.
The company has deep ties to Trumptopia - former advisor Steve Bannon was once on the board of directors and the oligarchical Mercer family is one of its largest shareholders. The company was also involved with a pro-Brexit group.
While Facebook has shied away from referring to the event as a 'data breach', its very public move now alongside its parallel investigation and a larger struggle to limit the malicious spread of misinformation has raised eyebrows.
BBC’s flagship morning news programme is reporting that Facebook has suspended “a data company credited with helping Donald Trump win the 2016 Presidential election” & FAILING TO MENTION THE SAME COMPANY’S INVOLVEMENT IN BREXIT REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN. #CambridgeAnalytica #r4today https://t.co/XylTKTfYAA— Eurosluggard🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@eurosluggard) March 17, 2018
It's perhaps best explained in this tweet:
Then, early Sunday morning, Facebook decided to suspend the account of the whistleblower.
This story will likely develop, so keep your ear to the ground.