Facebook suspends Trump election data firm that accessed millions of user profiles

Cambridge Analytica suspended from Facebook amid claims it harvested 50 million profiles

It is also at the centre of a growing controversy over the use of personal data to influence the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and Donald Trump's election.

But according to the Times, the app also collected the data of those quiz-takers' Facebook friends, without permission.

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Facebook in its statement described a rocky relationship with Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and Wylie going back to 2015. Wylie spoke to the New York Times and the UK's Observer and reporters at both newspapers also dug up extensive information to support his claims. The Observer said it was headed at the time by Steve Bannon, a top Trump adviser until he was sacked last summer.

Cambridge Analytica uses the controversial practice called psychographics that microtarget ads based on personality.

"They want to fight a culture war in America", he continued.

It added: "Cambridge Analytica fully complies with Facebook's terms of service and is now in touch with Facebook following its recent statement that it had suspended the company from its platform, in order to resolve this matter as quickly as possible".

President Uhuru Kenyatta re-election has taken a new twist after Facebook suspended the accounts of a company linked to his re-election campaign. Nix sent the email in the summer of 2016, two sources said, but it is not clear whether he sent it before or after Cambridge Analytica was brought onto the campaign.

Christopher Wylie, the former research director at Cambridge Analytica, went public about the alleged behaviour after admitting regret over his involvement.

Wylie, who is no longer with the firm, said "we exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people's profiles". "And so all of this can be captured very easily and run through an algorithm that learns who you are". The New York Times wrote on Saturday that the data was purchased to aid President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Cambridge Analytica is owned by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, and counted former Trump adviser and Breitbart chairman Stephen Bannon as one of its founders.

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The controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica has been suspended from Facebook, amid accusations they failed to delete Facebook users' data.

It added that was suspending Cambridge Analytica, SCL and Kogan from its platform.

How did the Trump campaign come into play?

Cambridge Analytica denies using any of the offending Facebook material for Trump's campaign. About 270,000 people downloaded the app, Facebook said.

Facebook said it had received reports that Cambridge Analytica and others had not destroyed all the data that was obtained, in breach of Facebook policies.

"Several days ago, we received reports that, contrary to the certifications we were given, not all data was deleted", Mr Grewal said. "We will take whatever steps are required to see that the data in question is deleted once and for all - and take action against all offending parties".

A whisteblower, who helped found the data firm, has explained how the largest data leaks in the social network's history allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate. Still, this tarnishes Facebook's record somewhat.

"People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked", Grewal said.

Cambridge Analytica was not immediately available for comment.

And thanks to the lack of oversight, this influence-peddling company was able to "move into the hearts and minds of American voters in a way that had never been done before". Why do you need to, you know, study neuroticism in people?

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