Facebook has suspended political data analytics company Cambridge Analytica after finding out the company had violated data privacy policies.
Facebook in a blog says Cambridge Analytica which was accused of working for Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta during the last general elections failed to deleted data that it had acquired inappropriately from hundreds of thousands of users on the social network.
‘’We are suspending Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), including their political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, from Facebook.’’
Facebook says in 2015, it discovered that Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named had lied to to them and violated its policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica. Dr. Aleksandr is said to have the date to Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, Inc. which is against Facebook policies.
‘’Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do, and we require the same from people who operate apps on Facebook.’’
Kogan is said to have requested and gained access to information from people after they chose t download his app “thisisyourdigitallife,”. The app offered offered a personality prediction, and billed itself on Facebook as “a research app used by psychologists.” Approximately 270,000 people downloaded the app. In so doing, they gave their consent for Kogan to access information such as the city they set on their profile, or content they had liked, as well as more limited information about friends who had their privacy settings set to allow it.
‘’Although Kogan gained access to this information in a legitimate way and through the proper channels that governed all developers on Facebook at that time, he did not subsequently abide by our rules. By passing information on to a third party, including SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, he violated our platform policies.’’
Cambridge Analytica has reportedly been involved in Kenya’s politics since 2013, working president Uhuru Kenyatta to help him win the elections. Claims which the firm denied.
Cambridge Analytica has also not issued any official statement regarding the suspension from Facebook.