Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Cambridge Analytica shuts down, calls Facebook controversy 'unfounded'

Keeping your privacy safe on social media New Review for Third-Party Apps on Facebook
Olivia Ford | 04 May, 2018, 14:19

"We will also monitor closely any successor companies using our powers to audit and inspect, to ensure the public is safeguarded", a spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner's Office said in a statement. Facebook was asked to list out the security architecture proposed to be created "so that data concerning Indians are not pilfered or manipulated again for extraneous purposes including to influence the elections".

The controversy has triggered a groundswell of criticism, investigations into both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook around the world, multiple hearings in the U.S. Congress and the potential for fines and other penalties. According to the company, the "siege" of media coverage relating to the accusations has driven away virtually all of its customers and suppliers, making it no longer viable to continue operating the business.

Cambridge Analytica bosses could still face sanctions if found to have breached data laws despite the collapse of the controversial firm, the information watchdog has said.

Cambridge Analytica have been successfully controlling the minds of thousands of people - if not hundreds of thousands - since 2013.

Quizzing the British firm on the non-disclosure pacts signed by the company with its associates and clients for Indian assignments, the government also asked it to share the templates that were used in signing such agreements. Earlier today, Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan announced that the company is planning to roll out a new tool that will allow users to see which websites and apps have gleaned information about them.

After Trump won the White House in 2016, in part with the firm's help, Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix went to more clients to pitch his services, the Times reported a year ago. SCL Elections, its parent, as well as Cambridge Analytica began insolvency proceedings in the UK, and said they would soon start bankruptcy proceedings in the United States. The report by TechCrunch questioned whether this was truly the end for Cambridge Analytica, or whether the firm is simply waiting for the media to lose interest and focus elsewhere.

Asked by Canadian lawmakers about how the closure of the businesses would affect the investigation and any possible sanctions, Damian Collins, the chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, said: "It doesn't change our inquiry at all". Whichever way you look at it, the sheer amount of data that could have been sourced surpasses the level of current known mass-surveillance techniques used by governments.

Cambridge Analytica sought information on Facebook to build psychological profiles on a large portion of the US electorate.

The company at the centre of Facebook Inc.'s recent privacy scandal is shutting down. The British firm suspended its CEO Alexander Tayler in April amid investigations.

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