Last week the U.K.’s Channel 4 News exposed data mining company Cambridge Analytica in a series of hidden camera videos. The videos show Cambridge Analytica employees admitting to stealing Facebook data as well as offering to send prostitutes to the opposition to obtain blackmail material.
Cambridge Analytica obtained the Facebook data by getting it from an academic claiming to be producing a study. 250k users were paid to take a personality quiz and allow access to their data, however the company scraped data from all of their friends, leaving 50M exposed to the breach.
This firm is funded by Trump ally, hedge fund billionaire, Robert Mercer, and was the brain child of Steve Bannon. That the Trump Campaign was possibly using illegally obtained data is now a big topic of discussion.
Turns out Facebook new about this breach since 2015. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg were notably quiet in the first few days of this news cycle and Facebook’s stock lost $59 billion in value in the first few days. Zuckerberg came forward with an apology.
Why it’s hot?
We continue to talk about how our unregulated internet is booth a boon and a detriment to humanity. Facebook seems in this case to be asking itself to be regulated (literally “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated”). We should be thinking about how we should put some limits on what can be done by these social behemoths.