The Cambridge Analytica data scandal that resulted in various privacy debates and the spark of the #DeleteFacebook campaign on social media seems to have taken down another social media platform. A new media report now says that popular micro-blogging site Twitter sold its data to the British political consulting firm.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that Aleksandr Kogan, who created the tools that Cambridge Analytica used to profile and target users bought data from Twitter in 2015, much before the scandal come to light. Kogan’s Global Science Research (GSR) had been granted access to Twitter’s data in 2015 although he claims that he did not violate any policies and that the data was used to create brand reports and “survey extender tools”,
Twitter confirmed this to the Telegraph and said that GSR had paid for its access to its data for one day in 2015 and picked up what it claims to be a random sample of public tweets between December 2014 and April 2015. Twitter on its part has said that it has not seen GSR access any personal information.
While it is not yet known what GSR did with the information, GSR’s quiz app on Facebook made headlines a while back for collecting data from millions of Facebook users sans their consent.
While Twitter data is much less revealing than Facebook data, according to an Engadget report, the data if correlated with Facebook data could be used for profiling and targetting.
Twitter last year courted controversy when it revealed in a Senate hearing that it censored hashtags that were critical of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 United States Presidential Elections. The San Francisco-based firm has also been accused of left-wing bias when it comes to suspending users or verifying them on the platform.
Also Read: Delete Facebook. Not.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.