After Facebook, Twitter Admits Data Breach Via Cambridge Analytica


The world has not yet gotten over from the shock how Cambridge Analytica secured data from Facebook and manipulated the voting decisions in elections. But it’s time that one braces up for another shock.


Not only Facebook, but the world’s another biggest social media Twitter also sold data to the Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan’s Global Science Research (GSR).

The microblogging site admitted to Bloomberg and said that in 2015, GSR was given one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets between a period from December 2014 to April 2015.

Aleksandr Kogan and his firm are guilty of gaining millions of Facebook Inc. users’ information and later passing to a political consulting firm without the users’ consent.

Twitter explained that it provides public data to certain companies, developers and users through its application programming interfaces (APIs), which often use them to analyze events, sentiment or customer service.

The clients, however, still need to explain how they had intended to use the data, and who the end users will be.

It is important to note that Twitter also registered a growth of about 20 percent, to $90 million, in “data licensing and other revenue” in the first quarter.

Besides, the microblogging site is under fire over Twitter’s failure to prevent misinformation and abuse on its platform which has risen since the 2016 election. In the first quarter, the company deleted more than 142,000 applications connected to the Twitter API that was collectively responsible for more than 130 million “low-quality” tweets during the period.

What is the Cambridge Analytica Scam?

Zuckerberg-owned Facebook is being accused of compromising the privacy of million users by sharing their details with CA, a British data analytics firm, which in turn used that data to allegedly manipulate the US elections.

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Facebook users were subjected to a long political quiz -cum-personality test that required them to log in with their Facebook account. Facebook also collected data such as likes and personal information from the test-taker’s Facebook account.

The results of the quiz were put together with that of the results deciphered from that of the likes of the users to map a psychological pattern.

Algorithms combined the data with other sources such as voter records to create a superior set of records with hundreds of data points per person. These people would now be shown a highly personalised advertisement to suit their personality traits.

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and Kogan from the platform pending information over misuse of data related to this project.

There have been more revelations about both firms and about the way consumers’ data is used.

ALSO READ: Jack Ma asks Zuckerberg to ‘fix’ Facebook