Hours after Facebook banned Cambridge Analytica for the breach of users’ personal data, a crisis of sorts has engulfed the social media giant. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being condemned for his silence on how his platform allowed an unprecedented data breach to take place to help Donald Trump’s election campaign, among others.
The company has organised a Q&A session on Tuesday, when the Facebook employees can ask their bosses questions on the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandals. Paul Grewal, deputy general manager at Facebook, is expected to explain how the Cambridge Analytica data vbreach scandal was allowed to go undetected in order to help the presidential campaign of Donald Trump in 2016.
The scandal came to fore after New York Times and Guardian reported how a research professor at Cambridge University created a mobile app to harvest the personal data of 50 million Facebook users before illegally giving the information to Cambridge Analytica.
The latest scandal scandal has once again raised questions on the steps taken by Facebook to protect the privacy of its users. Politicians cutting across the party lines are now calling for Zuckerberg to testify before the Congress. Facebook stock value in the share market has crashed by at least 10 percent since the scandal erupted.
Zuckerberg is being condemned both by analysts and Facebook employees for not uttering a word on the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The Guardian story had sensationally revealed how Cambridge Analytica had allegedly boasted of using honey traps, fake news campaigns and operations with ex-spies to swing election campaigns around the world.
Executives from Cambridge Analytica also spoke to undercover reporters from Britain’s Channel 4 News about the dark arts used by the company to help clients, which included entrapping rival candidates in fake bribery stings and hiring prostitutes to seduce them.
The Channel 4 documentary, broadcast on Monday, has Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive, tell reporters, “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”
In one exchange, when asked about digging up material on political opponents, Nix said they could “send some girls around to the candidate’s house”, adding that Ukrainian girls “are very beautiful, I find that works very well”.
In another he said: “We’ll offer a large amount of money to the candidate, to finance his campaign in exchange for land for instance, we’ll have the whole thing recorded, we’ll blank out the face of our guy and we post it on the Internet.”
Cambridge Analytica is believed to have helped politicians on election campaigns in Nigeria, Czech Republic and even India. Others allege the company had a role to play in the Brexit campaign.