Everybody who’s practically been alive since Saturday is all too familiar – or at least familiar, in the slightest – with Cambridge Analytica, a data firm specifically concentrating on its political uses.
Cambridge Analytica gained unauthorized access to roughly 50 million Facebook accounts’ personal information and metadata, presumably allowing the firm to more closely tailor political marketing messages to Internet users, particularly those on Facebook.
It’s said that a scholar in the human sciences developed an app that asked personal questions about Facebook users, similar to other dating or personal life mobile applications. Through that application, which was then used by Cambridge Analytica, many gigabytes of data that turned out to be useful in advertising were mined, then combed through, used to make inferences, then pump out popular advertisements.
Here’s the newest of the news: Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive officer Alexander Nix was suspended from his position on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Alexander Tayler, the chief data officer of Cambridge Analytica, has been asked to act as the firm’s lead executive until more formal, permanent plans are finalized.
A popular news channel in Britain, Channel 4 News, published an exclusive piece on inappropriate behavior committed by Alexander Nix and others among the upper echelons of Cambridge Analytica. The publication was broadcast on Monday in the United Kingdom, just two days after Saturday, March 17’s dual reports from The New York Times and The Observer that initially detailed a link between 50 million Facebook profiles’ worth of data, Cambridge Analytics, Facebook, and even Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Nix was found at what was apparently a business meeting, of which an undercover reporter for Channel 4 News was present and acting as a wealthy client seeking his services, claiming he could reliably bribe politicians to throw their chances of election off, or even entrap them with sex workers, take video evidence, and ruin their careers.
Many state politicians in both the U.S. and U.K. are calling on Mark Zuckerberg’s insight to his company’s data breach.