Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits that “great breach of trust’
Facebook CEO ‘sorry’ for the data-use scandal. William La Jeunesse reports.
Facebook has denied a claim that it is displayed favouritism in the direction of Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential elections.
With controversy raging about Cambridge Analytica the alleged misuse of Facebook data from other groups’ historic use of the social network have also been thrust into the spotlight.
Earlier this week, Carol Davidsen, former director of integration and media analytics at Obama for America (OFA), tweeted that the 2012 campaign was able to “suck in” Facebook “social graph” that maps users ‘ connections. The use of Facebook’s Application Programming Interface (API), this allows the campaign access to information about users’ friends when they used the Facebook log-in button to the campaign on the website, according to the Washington Post.
MARK ZUCKERBERG APOLOGIZES FOR FACEBOOK DATA SCANDAL, A “SERIOUS BREACH OF TRUST’
They came to the office in the days after the elections, recruitment & were very forthright that they allowed us to do things that they would not have allowed someone else to do it, because they were on our side.
— Carol Davidsen (@cld276) March 19, 2018
“They came to the office in the days after the elections, recruitment & were very forthright that they allowed us to do things that they would not have allowed someone else to do it, because they were on our side,” Davidsen added in a later tweet.
Facebook shot back that both Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney had access to the same Facebook resources in 2012. “The tweet is incorrect both the Obama and Romney campaigns had access to the same tools, and no campaign got a special treatment from Facebook,” it explained, in a statement by e-mail to Fox News Wednesday.
Davidsen tweeted this week that, while the Obama campaign “played by the rules” in the use of the data, they still felt uncomfortable. “I worked on all data integration projects for a BANK. This was the only one that felt creepy, even though we have played by the rules, and do not do anything I felt was ugly, with the data.”
The former Obama campaign official also tweeted that they’re “100% positive” that Facebook also recruits people at the other end of the political spectrum.
I am also 100% positive that the Facebook activity recruits, and the rods of the people on the other side.
— Carol Davidsen (@cld276) March 19, 2018
At least one conservative commentator has accused sections of the media of double standards after lauding the Obama campaign for the use of data mining, in comparison with the coverage of the Trump campaign’s data mining in 2016.
However, Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, tweeted Tuesday that comparisons between Obama’s 2012 use of Facebook data and the current Cambridge Analytica data scandal are wide of the mark. “The ’12 campaign told voters what they share and for what purpose. The coincidence of these two cases is misleading,” he wrote.
Reports came in the weekend that Cambridge Analytica improperly used information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts, where the social network to suspend the british company. Cambridge Analytica, who has ties with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential elections, denies any wrongdoing.
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS THAT HE WILL TELL LEGISLATORS ABOUT THE WORK THAT HELPED TRUMP CAMPAIGN
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the data scandal in a long post on Wednesday. He also described the situation as “a serious breach of trust” in an interview with CNN.
“In 2013, a researcher at the University of Cambridge, with the name Aleksandr Kogan made a personality quiz app,” he explained, in his blog post. “It is installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends’ data. Given the way our platform worked at the time this meant that Kogan was able to get access to tens of millions of their friends’ data.”
Zuckerberg added that in 2015, Facebook learned from The Guardian that Kogan had shared data of the app with Cambridge Analytica. “That is against our policy for developers to share information without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app of our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had removed all improperly acquired information,” he wrote. “They have these certifications.”
The Facebook chief added that, last week, the company has learnt from The Guardian, The New York Times and Channel 4 that “Cambridge Analytica can not be removed from the data as they had been declared.” Cambridge Analytica, he added, claims that they have removed all of the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm hired by Facebook.
Facebook sharpens the details of the policy in 2014, according to Zuckerberg. The social network is also launching an investigation into all the apps that have access to large amounts of data from prior to that time, and, forward, also limiting developers access to the data. “For example, we will provide the developers access to your data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months,” he wrote.
FACEBOOK ALTERNATIVES: ARE THERE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS THAT ARE NOT COLLECTING AND SELLING YOUR DATA?
Cambridge Analytica, which describes itself as “a data-driven communications and marketing agency,” denies any wrongdoing.
Kogan, a psychology researcher at the University of Cambridge, told the BBC that both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have tried to put the blame on him, even though the company assured him that everything he did was legal. “One of the big mistakes that I did here, was I just not asked enough questions,” he said. “I had never had a commercial project. I didn’t really have a reason to doubt their sincerity. That is definitely something I highly regret.”
Kogan has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story from Fox News.
Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers