From few previous months, we all are hearing a buzz created about Data breaching by facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Everyone is aware of Facebook but, what is Cambridge Analytica?
Cambridge Analytica was incepted in 2013 initially with a focus on US elections. It provides consumer research targeted advertising and other data-related services and offers these services to businesses and political parties who want to “change audience behavior”. It was first noticed by the World, especially in USA and India after Trump won the President Election in 2016. The Cambridge Analytica back then stated that the elections were in favor of Trump due to the data and analysis done by it. However, the spokesperson of white house denied that they use the data provided by Cambridge Analytica to affect the advertisement campaign.
Throughout the end of the week, the Observer uncovered that in 2014, 50 million Facebook profiles were reaped by a UK-based Aleksandre Kogan. Kogan gathered the data through an application on the site – it gathered subtle elements of Americans who were paid to take a personality test, and also collected information about those individuals’ Facebook friends. Cambridge Analytica unauthorizedly obtained the information in a way that damaged the Facebook policies. It at that point intentionally tapped the data to manufacture psychographic profiles of test takers and their friends, which were utilized for focused political advertisements in the UK’s Brexit choice battle, and additionally by Trump’s group amid the 2016 US decision.
Cambridge Analytica also provided such data to India on which it states that it worked on the Bihar assembly elections in 2010, and its clients won elections by a more significant margin. While going through stiff scrutiny by the users and probe agencies, Facebook said that” nearly 5.62 lakh people in India were “potentially affected” by the incident. In its answer to the Indian government’s notice, Facebook had replied that “exclusive 335 individuals” in India were specifically influenced through the installation of an application and another 5,62,120 individuals were “conceivably influenced” as friends of those clients.
Facebook, which is confronting multiple probes in numerous legal advisories over the potential breach of user’s privacy, had recently stated that it is organizing a third party checking program in India.
But the question is how they mined the data? And how it can be used to affect election process? Facebook said in a statement on March 16 that Cambridge Analytica received user data from Aleksandr Kogan who created an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” that ostensibly offered personality predictions to users while calling itself a research tool for psychologists.
The app asked users to log in using their Facebook accounts. As part of the login process, it asked for access to users’ Facebook profiles, locations, what they liked on the service, and importantly, their friends’ data as well which helps them bank on such huge datas and use them to influence a particular section.
What is to be Realized?
The battle is still on, and the truth is yet to be revealed, but the fact of the matter is how safe is our online presence? Are the safety measures and privacy setting actually working?