Facebook has announced that over 87 million of its users were directly affected by the leak to the British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica. We learnt that the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg has taken the blame for the entire mix up in a conference call made between the tech guru and The Guardian.
However, just so you have an idea why Cambridge Analytica is so important in this particular situation, these are a few things to know about the firm.
1. The company is a data firm that specialises in political marketing campaigns. It Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Nix was recorded singing his own praises about being able to have an effect on more than 200 elections in the world.
2. Cambridge Analytica has been allegedly accused of using personal data of Facebook users to influence specific marketing campaigns.
3. Data gotten from Facebook users were harvested from a personality quiz shared on the social media platform. The users downloaded an app that analysed their personalities by information on their profiles and friends on the platform. (Sounds familiar?!)
4. The data was sent to Cambridge Analytica through a Facebook developer in 2015. It is against Facebook’s policy to send data of its users to anyone.
5. Facebook ordered Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories to delete its user’s data. They stated they had followed these orders.
6. The British company was hired by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign for marketing purposes.
7. Cambridge Analytica Executives were again caught bragging about helping elected United States of America President, Trump to win on a video.
8. They stated that they used untraceable advertising and attack ads to reach their audience.
9. A Trump donor and billionaire, Robert Mercer once funded the data firm.
10. Former chief strategist for President Trump, Steve Bannon served on Cambridge Analytica’s board but sold his shares in 2017.