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Home / SmartTech / Cambridge Analytica's email chain with Facebook sheds new light on the data misuse scandal – TechCrunch

Cambridge Analytica's email chain with Facebook sheds new light on the data misuse scandal – TechCrunch



Cambridge Analytica's whistleblower, Brittany Kaiser, today released new documents showing that Facebook only accepted a simple email confirmation from the company that it had deleted data related to 87 million Facebook User profiles are linked.

Data was improperly collected in 2014 by researchers with access to the Facebook developer platform paid by Cambridge Analytica to receive and process information from social media users for targeting political ads.

In December 2015, a Guardian article on the Cambridge academic Dr. Aleksandr Specter (Kogan). explained how he had acquired Facebook profiles for research purposes and that Cambridge Analytica had not collected this data properly.

At subsequent Senate hearings in Washington, Mark Zuckerburg apologized for not verifying that Cambridge Analytica had deleted the information. [1

9659002] At the time, he said: “When we heard from Cambridge Analytica that the after you informed us that you were not using the data and deleted it, we consider it complete. In retrospect, that was clearly a mistake. We shouldn't have taken our word for it. We have updated our guidelines to ensure that we do not make this mistake again. "

Instead, Facebook had the political advice itself confirm that it has destroyed the records that have been claimed to have been purchased in violation of social law. The rules of the network.

In addition, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said, for example, in a message to the British Parliament: "When we learned at the end of 2015 that Kogan had shared the data, we immediately blocked TIYDL [the personality quiz app used to harvest data] from our platform and asked him to delete all data received from this app. We have also requested deletion from everyone from whom Kogan has received certain data, including Cambridge Analytica, and confirmation from everyone that the deletion has been completed. “

The information Kaiser publishes today seems to show a difference between Schröpfer's account and what the emails actually say – if Facebook only emailed CA to delete the data – and only asked the company "Providing us with confirmation" [i.e. of deletion] without mentioning a specific process of "certification", as Schroepfer later said The British Parliament.

Today Kaiser TechCrunch announced exclusively on the stage of the WorldWebForum conference in Zurich that the only confirmation from Facebook was a simple email exchange with executives from Cambridge Analytica.

This & # 39; email exchange & # 39; – was unable to independently review the TechCrunch at this time – has never been published d. Kaiser released TechCrunch, which she claims is a copy of the exchange. We asked Facebook for a comment.

According to the document submitted to us on December 17, 2015, Alex Tayler, chief data officer of Cambridge Analytica, allegedly wrote to Facebook executive Allison Hendrix: [19659012] “I wanted to confirm that Facebook, after your request is convinced that CA has not violated the terms of use or stolen data from non-consenting persons. If you are satisfied, this matter is resolved. Could you send us a Facebook statement that we can distribute through our PR agency? We are still finding a few articles that repeat the Guardian's initial false claims, and we want to strongly refute them to avoid further damage to our company's reputation. Alternatively, if Facebook would like to issue a joint press release, we would welcome this. "

One day later, on December 18, 2015, Hendrix replied:

" Thank you again for taking the time to speak to me last week and for additional information on developing the GSR app from Dr. Kogan, which was funded by Cambridge Analytica (through SCL Elections). As previously mentioned, we do not allow the purchase or sale of information obtained from Facebook, and there are strict guidelines for using your friend’s data for purposes other than improving the user experience in your app. Our discussions indicate that these guidelines have been violated.

"You have informed us that Dr. Kogan received personality values ​​that were derived from Facebook data, and that these values ​​were assigned to people who are included in lists. Because this data was not properly derived from data retrieved from the Facebook platform and then transferred to Cambridge Analytica in violation of our policies, you must take all necessary steps to obtain this information and all data originating from this platform, completely and completely delete such data and to confirm it to us.

“We need additional information to complete our review. First of all, do you have data that Dr. Have Kogan been transferred to a person or organization other than the Ted Cruz team? Do you have the data from Dr. Kogan used elsewhere? If you need more information that you think we should know, we thank you in advance for providing this information to us and helping you solve these problems.

"Please respond immediately to confirm when you can complete the request. Please delete all data (and all derived data) and provide the additional information I requested above. As already mentioned, our test is not complete. Accordingly, we may have additional questions, requests, or requests in the future, and this email should not be construed as a waiver of Facebook's rights. "

On December 19, 2015, Tayler replied:

" Dear Allison, there are several incorrect statements in your email. First and foremost, Cambridge Analytica has the data that we received from Dr. Kogan have not been transferred to Cruz for President or to any other party. The only data we share with our customers is lists of contact information, which may have some tags attached to it that we target for the target audience (e.g. potential donors, strong voters) and models that we have created under their guidance, identify. Second, Cambridge Analytica has developed the Dr. Kogan app not funded. We didn't pay GSR for their time or technology, we paid the costs of third parties (e.g. survey providers) for the surveys they performed. Please note that GSR
was contractually obliged to conduct this investigation with the consent of the survey participants and in accordance with the terms of use of their providers.

“After we have clarified this, the model from which we received it Dr. Kogan was not very accurate (in validation experiments we did, we found his predictions were only slightly better than by chance). For our goal of extrapolating personality values ​​across the entire database, his model was simply not accurate enough to use as a training set or otherwise commercially used.

“Still, we considered the project a success in that it gave us a proof of concept for personality research that we've been doing internally since (which is in no way related to Facebook). It is this data that we have collected independently of GSR that we have used to build our current business offering. For this reason and in the spirit of good loyalty that we would like to maintain with Facebook, we will comply with your request, all from Dr. Delete data received by Kogan.

“Please tell me what else you need from us as soon as possible. It is imperative that we make it clear that Cambridge Analytica has done nothing wrong. “

Back then there was a time delay, probably due to the vacation break. On January 5, 2016 Hendrix replied:

“Thank you for your timely and detailed response and for your consent to delete all data derived from the Facebook platform. Can you tell me how you saved the data and what you did to delete it? "

On January 6, 2016, Tayler replied and copied into CA CEO Alexander Nix:

" To put it bluntly, we used Dr. Kogan's received data has not yet been deleted, but will be happy to do so as soon as Facebook confirms that this will solve the matter. We are currently storing the data as CSV files in an encrypted directory on our file server. If we delete the data, we will simply have the rm -rf directory. "

Six days later, on January 12, Hendrix:

" As a reminder, you have received the data inappropriately and are obliged to delete it. You indicated that you want to have a positive relationship with us. If you have one, you need to delete the data. In addition to deleting the data from the directory, can you check whether there are backups on your server that also contain the data? At the moment we do not expect any further problems, but we reserve our rights and cannot give any guarantees. "

On January 18, 2016, Tayler replied:

" I can confirm that we have now deleted from our file. Server the data we from Dr. Kogan have received in good faith that this will resolve our commitment to Facebook. I also confirm that I have verified that the server does not contain backups of this data. If we have deleted the data and cooperated in this matter, this should not be interpreted as an admission for our misconduct. "

On January 18, 2016 Hendrix replied:

" Thank you, Alex. I will notify you if we have any further questions, and please do not hesitate to contact you or your team if you have any questions. Thanks again. – Ali ”

This entire exchange was then forwarded by executives from PR agency N6A to executives from Cambridge Analytica and completed on January 23, 2016 by Kaiser.


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