Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump during his US Presidential campaign, amassed a massive chunk of Facebook user data for some 50 million people without ever getting their permission, investigative reports by The New York Times and the Observer revealed. In an effort to get ahead of the controversy, Facebook on Saturday announced that it had suspended accounts for Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. Here is a low down of everything you need to know about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica story. What did Cambridge Analytica do? Cambridge Analytica reportedly played a key role in mapping out the behaviour of voters in the run-up to the 2016 US election and helped the Brexit campaign during United Kingdom's EU referendum. The Observer last year accused the firm of “hijacking” democracy for its involvement in the Brexit campaign. In June 2016, Donald Trump's presidential campaign hired Cambridge Analytica to take over its data operations. Trump’s campaign paid millions of dollars to Cambridge Analytica, which was funded by the president’s billionaire donor Robert Mercer. In December, special counsel Robert Mueller called for company documents as part of his investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. How did they do this? In the blog post announcing the suspensions, Facebook deputy general counsel Paul Grewal explained out how Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) came into possession of the user data. In 2015, Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology professor at Cambridge University, created an app named “thisisyourdigitallife”…
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