Trump Consultant Behind Massive Facebook Data LeakMarch 18, 2018 2:13pm

A voter-profiling company used by the 2016 Trump campaign collected the private data of over 50 million Facebook users without their permission—one of the biggest data leaks in Facebook history, the New York Times reports.

According to the Guardian, it started with researchers concluding they could form complex personality profiles of people by what they "like" on Facebook, determining intelligence, history of trauma, and more based on responses to posts on innocuous subjects like curly fries and Hello Kitty.

Researcher Aleksandr Kogan signed a deal with Cambridge Analytica—which had Stephen Bannon in a leading role—and in 2014 developed a personality quiz that would not only harvest the data of the Facebook users who took it but also all of their friends.



Around 270,000 Facebook users took the quiz—agreeing to allow their data to be used for academic purposes; their friends didn't even agree to that—which allowed Kogan to harvest the data of over 50 million Facebook users and pass it along to Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook policies.

The company used it to create psychographic profiles of about 30 million US voters and target political ads toward them. Facebook found out in 2015 and demanded the data be deleted, Quartz reports.

But Facebook didn't publicly acknowledge the leak until Friday and, despite claims to the contrary, it appears Cambridge Analyitica still has a good portion of the data.

Cambridge Analytica, which has now been banned by Facebook, is also facing the possibility of having run afoul of US election laws and is being looked into by the Mueller investigation.

More From Newser

This article originally appeared on Newser: Trump Consultant Behind Massive Facebook Data Leak

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Could Africa become the next Silicon Valley?At one point, the idea of developing a start-up in Africa was unfamiliar and far-fetched.
Facebook allowed underage users, extreme content on site, investigation findsFacebook is ignoring underage users and knowingly permitting extreme content to remain on its platform, a new investigation in the United Kingdom has found.
LabCorp finds 'suspicious activity' on its IT networkLaboratory testing giant LabCorp detected “suspicious activity” on its IT network over the weekend, the company announced Monday.
Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel bets on crypto start-up Block.one
'What a dumb hearing,' says Democrat as Congress grills tech companies on conservative bias
Investor explains why 'duller' tech stocks can have better returns than 'high-flying' tech names
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices