The closure of Cambridge Analytica will not stop a probe into the firm’s handling of millions of people’s data, investigators have said. The firm has been accused of acquiring data from up to 87 million Facebook profiles for use in political campaigns. Cambridge Analytica closed on Wednesday 2nd May citing a loss of business.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said its investigation will still “pursue individuals and directors”. Damian Collins, chair of the UK House of Commons select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) tweeted: “Cambridge Analytica and [parent company] SCL Group cannot be allowed to delete their data history by closing. “The investigations into their work are vital.”
Countdown to one of biggest data scandals – How the scandal unfolded
17 March: The Observer and the New York Times publish accounts by Cambridge Analytica’s ex-employee Christopher Wylie, saying 50 million Facebook accounts were improperly harvested by the company
19 March: Channel of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, giving examples of how the firm could swing elections around the world with tactics such as smear campaigns and honey traps. The company denies any wrongdoing
20 March: Alexander Nix is suspended
23 March: The UK’s data watchdog is granted a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s office
27 March: Christopher Wylie appears in front of a committee of UK MPs
4 April: Facebook says it now believes up to 87 million people’s data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica
10 April: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is questioned by US lawmakers about the scandal
17 April: Alexander Nix, the former boss of Cambridge Analytica, refuses to appear before British MPs
26 April: The UK parliamentary committee threatens to issue Mark Zuckerberg with a “formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK” as questions remain unanswered
2 May: Cambridge Analytica announces its closure
Twitter Also Sold Access to Cambridge Analytica
Since it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the personal data of millions of Facebook users, one question has lingered in the minds of the public: What other data did Dr. Aleksandr Kogan gain access to?
Twitter confirmed to The Telegraph recently that GSR, Kogan’s own commercial enterprise, had purchased one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets from a five-month period between December 2014 and April 2015. Twitter had told Bloomberg that, following an internal review, the company did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.
Twitter sells API access into large organisations, or enterprises, for the purposes of surveying sentiment or opinion during various events, or around certain topics or ideas.
A Twitter spokesperson reportedly said that Twitter has also made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned and operated by Cambridge Analytica.
This decision is based on our determination that Cambridge Analytica operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices. Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.
Obviously, this doesn’t have the same scope as the data harvested about users on Facebook. Twitter’s data on users is far less personal. Location on the platform is opt-in and generic at that, and users are not forced to use their real name on the platform.
Source: Cyber Security Intelligence