Twitter also involved in Cambridge Analytica Scandal for selling data. After Facebook, now it’s turn of another major social media giant for data breach. Now, Twitter has also been caught up in the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica (British political consulting firm which collected the data of nearly 87 million Facebook users without their permission).
Allegedly, data from Twitter was also used by the firm Cambridge Analytica as Aleksandr Kogan, the person who created tools for Cambridge Analytica allowed the political consultancy to psychologically profile and target voters, bought the data from the microblogging website in 2015, before the recent scandal out, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
It was done through the personality quiz app named “This Is Your Digital Life “which secretly collected the data. The tool was created by Kogan who later sold the data to Cambridge Analytica.
It is said that Kogan had established Global Science Research (GSR), which was approved to get access Twitter data. On the other side, the academic claimed the information had only been used to create “brand reports” and “survey extender tools” and that he had not violated Twitter’s policies.
According to the recent reports, Kogan bought tweets, usernames, photos, profile pictures and location data from Twitter through his GSR within the period of five-month (December 2014 and April 2015).
However, Twitter confirms that he and his company (GSR) did not have access to personal data of users and he was only restricted to view profiles and tweets which are shown on profiles by the users themselves.
It is pertinent to mention here that earlier this month; Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook had also admitted making a “huge mistake” for improperly sharing the personal data of up to 87 million users with British firm Cambridge Analytica.
According to the report, even as most tweets are public, Twitter charges companies and organizations to collect them as a whole.
On the other hand, a Twitter spokesperson said,
“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,” the spokesperson added.
It may not look as serious in comparison to Facebook’s case. However it still raises concerns about how social media can be used for selective exploitation and public insight.