Cambridge Analytica Scandal Facebook emails could be a problem for Zuckerberg


Private e-mails could be in contradiction with the sworn testimony of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about when Facebook became aware of the data breach by Cambridge Analytica.

The social media giant and the Attorney General of Washington DC are arguing over an internal messaging chain that would show Facebook employees discussing the Cambridge Analytica data collection scandal in September 2015. These so-called emails are arrived many months before Facebook learned that Cambridge Analytica, a consulting company founded by Donald Trump's sponsors, was collecting information from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.

Facebook and the Attorney General will appear Friday in court to see if these emails can be viewed by the public. If they are not sealed, their content could contradict the sworn testimony that Zuckerberg made in Congress last year. This is part of a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Karl Racine, accusing Facebook of not protecting user data.

Facebook claims to have heard about Cambridge Analytica's relationship with the public in December 2015. That's when guardian reported that Republican Senator Ted Cruz's presidential campaign used psychological profiles compiled from tens of millions of personal information from unsuspecting Facebook users.

The data was extracted by former psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan with the help of a personality questionnaire. Kogan then sold the data to Cambridge Analytica, which hired him as a contractor in 2014.

"The general public itself has little or no interest in this document, which could justify exposing Facebook to the risks that would inevitably accompany disclosure."


Subsequent revelations, including statements from a whistleblower in 2018, showed that Kogan's app had exploited a feature of Facebook's architecture that also allowed him to collect personal information about his users' friends. According to Facebook estimates, up to 87 million users could have seen their information erased.

The terms of service of the application made it clear to users that Kogan intended to "publish, copy, distribute, publish, transfer, supplement or merge with any other person". other databases, sell, license (by any means) and archive your data. contribution and data. The terms of service were given to Facebook during the app approval process, but then admitted never to read the language. The friends of the app users have not received any information.

"When Facebook learned that Kogan had broken Facebook's data usage rules in December 2015, we immediately took action," Zuckerberg told Congress last year. "The company hired an outside firm to investigate Kogan's actions, to require that Kogan and all parties with whom he shares data erase the data and their derivatives, as well as the certifications they have made. "

But the office of the Attorney General of Canada claims to have documents to the contrary. On Monday, the office filed a request to unlock the September 2015 emails, which allegedly aimed to show US-based Facebook employees who were expressing concerns about Cambridge Analytica.

"A Facebook employee based on the Dc warned the company that Cambridge Analytica was a"[redacted]"Asked other Facebook employees of"[redacted]And received responses indicating that Cambridge Analytica's data collection practices were[redacted]'' With Facebook's platform policy ',' read the redacted motion on unsealing the seal.

Facebook has opposed the disclosure of the content of e-mails and will go to court Friday afternoon to ask if e-mails will be made public.

"The document contains sensitive commercial information regarding the" inner workings "of Facebook's activities that must be protected from disclosure," wrote Facebook in a motion opposing the publication of e-mail. Making it public "could provide competitors with valuable information about how Facebook works. The general public itself has little or no interest in this document that could justify Facebook being exposed to the risks that would inevitably accompany disclosure. "


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