Tuesday, July 17, 2018
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

European Union to investigate alleged Facebook data breach

Probe comes just days after news broke about the alleged misuse of personal data of 50 million Facebook users.

Antonio Tajani

Legislators for the European Union have announced an investigation after allegations user data of 50 million Facebook accounts were misused.

The investigation comes after Christopher Wylie, a whistle-blower who worked for data analytics company Cambridge Analytica, said on Saturday data of the 50 million users were harvested without their knowledge or consent.

Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, said on Twitter the allegations, if true, constitute "an unacceptable violation of our citizens' privacy rights".

"The European Parliament will investigate fully, calling digital platforms to account," he said.

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office, which concerns itself with privacy and data protection, reiterated on Monday it is also investigating the issue.

"A full understanding of the facts, data flows and data uses is imperative for my ongoing investigation. This includes any new information, statements or evidence that have come to light in recent days," Elizabeth Denham, information commissioner, said.


READ MORE: 'Cambridge Analytica harvested data of 50 million Facebook users'


"This is a complex and far-reaching investigation for my office and any criminal or civil enforcement actions arising from it will be pursued vigorously."

On Friday, the New York Times and London Observer broke a story about how Cambridge Analytica paid for illegally obtained personal information of 50 million Facebook users.

The company, which worked on Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and the pro-Brexit campaign as a consultant, then used that information to build a software program which could target potential swing voters, the newspapers found.

Cambridge Analytica allegedly got the data of the 50 million people from Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian-American researcher.

He built an app called 'thisisyourdigitallife' that collected data for "academic research".

However, the app not only collected personal information of the people who downloaded the app and consented to having their data used, but also of unknowing friends, according to the newspapers' investigation.

Cambridge Analytica, who paid Kogan's company and to build the app, was then able to create highly detailed profiles of 50 million people.

That data was subsequently used for several political campaigns, among them Trump's and Ted Cruz's presidential runs, as well as the Brexit campaign in the UK.

According to the Facebook terms of services, the sale of information to third parties is not allowed.

As a result of the news, Facebook shares have plummeted.

The company said in a response all parties involved, including the whistle-blower Wylie, had been suspended pending an internal investigation.

Facebook, whose headquarters are based in Ireland, added on Saturday the data gathered were not the result of a breach, but that people knowingly provided their information and no sensitive pieces of information were stolen.


READ MORE: UN: Facebook had a 'role' in Rohingya genocide


Cambridge Analytica has claimed in a statement that it did not use the gathered data for its work with the Trump presidential campaign and that has followed Facebook's terms of services.

Funding for Cambridge Analytica came from former White House adviser Steve Bannon and hedge-fund financiers Robert and Rebekah Mercer, who supported the Trump campaign.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Brexit: UK PM May says Trump told her to sue the EU

Read More

Video: Huge melting iceberg threatens Greenland village

Read More

Former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams' house hit with explosives

Read More

UK police find 'small bottle' with Novichok nerve agent

Read More

Trump, May hold talks amid firestorm over Brexit

Read More

Trump says May's Brexit plan could kill hope of US trade deal

Read More

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Global_News

Demonstrations erupt in Diyala and Nasiriyah following days of clashes in Basra that left at least seven people dead.

Read More

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

Thailand cave boys

2018 World Cup