Still problems due to the English data collection company: Facebook responsible for the biggest digital data breach ever?
The scandal on the biggest data breach drags the title of Facebook negative in the American market: the Cambridge Analytica case.
That the acquisition of people's data was a very tasty loot for companies that have always been known, but perhaps many still ignore that the personal information on the net is exploited not only for marketing campaigns but also for election campaigns.
the case of the elections held in the United States at the end of 2016, when the American citizens went to the polls to decide the new president of the country. Immediately the alleged ties with Russia raised concerns in the vote for Obama's successor, but what sparked the most suspicious role was the role of the London web agency: the Cambridge Analytica.
Data acquisition for psychological conditioning
Returning to the news dis-honors, the company must respond to very serious charges against it: in recent days the New York Times and the Guardian have published articles that show how online user data has been used illegally to influence their voting decisions.
The Cambridge Analytica, specifically, a company that deals with the collection of online data according to advanced technologies, which are not limited only to the acquisition of the same, but exploits them for create psychological profiles of users by monitoring interactions and comments on social networks. Without going too far into technical details, it is easy to grasp the potential of the company: to know the psyche in depth Internet users who, unaware, reveal a lot about their personalities, that is preferences, habits, interests, fears and desires.
On these emotions, then, it is possible to leverage for direct and influence decisions ranging from the buying process, in the most traditional marketing techniques, to political orientation. In fact, it seems that Cambridge Analytica has transferred the valuable information in its possession to the collaborators of Donald Trump who organized the election campaign.
The alleged winning recipe soon made: knowing the needs and problems of citizens, it is easy to build false ad hoc news on the account of the political opponent to discredit him in the eyes of the voters, showing himself as the only true savior of the country. Not only: it seems that Cambridge Analytica was responsible for influencing the fate of the pro-Brexit referendum in England, but it also played a role in the race for the French Marine le Pen elections, and in the establishment of an unspecified Italian party in the difficult political climate of 2012.
The role of Facebook in the affair
But what does Facebook have to do with it all?
The connection, albeit indirect, due to an application that a few years ago has literally depopulated on the Menlo Park social network. thisisyourdigitallifein fact, users presented themselves as an innocent quiz game, but not only obtained information by asking specific questions about users' preferences, but asked for authorization to access personal data voluntarily entered by users in the social network, even reaching contact information present in the network of the user in question.
Well, not only was the application not purely academic, but it was even used by the designer to create specific psychological profiles that he then sold to the aforementioned Cambridge Analytica. 50 million users, has prohibited the transfer to third parties of the data collected by the apps that use the Facebook login.
The company is therefore under investigation, and Mark Zuckerberg called to testify how his blue social network knew about the market of its users' data for two years now. In the meantime, I'm not just shaking security of our data, but also the Facebook stock exchange, which following the -7% collapse scandal: the lowest point since its listing in 2014.