CA also used 'sex compass' and other quiz apps for sucking Facebook data, says former employee

CA also used 'sex compass' and other quiz apps for sucking Facebook data, says former employee
From TechCrunch - April 17, 2018

Brittney Kaiser, a former employee for Cambridge Analyticawho left the company in January and is today giving evidence in front of a UK parliament committee thats investigating online misinformationhas suggested that data on far more Facebook users may have found its way into the consultancys hands than the up to 87M people Facebookhas so far suggested had personal data compromised as a result of a personality quiz app running on its platform which was developed by an academic working with CA.

Another former CA employee, Chris Wylie,previously told the committee the company worked with professor Aleksandr Kogan to gather Facebook users datavia his thisisyourdigitallife quiz appbecause Kogan had agreed to work on gathering and processing the data first, instead of negotiating commercial terms up front.

CAs intent was to use Facebookers data for political microtargeting, according toevidence provided by Wylie.

In herwritten evidence to the committee Kaiser claims:

I should emphasise that the Kogan/GSR datasets and questionnaires were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica used. I am aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners, usually with a Facebook loginfor example, the sex compass quiz. I do not know the specifics of these surveys or how the data was acquired or processed. But I believe it is almost certain that the number of Facebook users whose data was compromised through routes similar to that used by Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities.

Asked to expand on this point during todays hearing, Kaiser said Cambridge Analyticas internal creative, psychology and data science teams worked together to design questionnaires for deploying on Facebooks platform.

I am aware now of what the questionnaire was that professor Kogan used, although I didnt know about it when I joined the company. But I would see questionnairesfor example there was one called the Sex Compass to find out what your personal preferences were privately. And then there was another one on your Music Personality, she told the committee.

In my pitches I used to give examples even to clients that if you go on Facebook and you see these viral personality quizzesnot all of them would have been designed by Cambridge Analytica/SCL Group or our affiliates but that these applications were designed specifically to harvest data from individuals, using Facebook as the tool.

I know at least of those two examples, she added. Therefore it can be inferred or implied that there were many additional individuals as opposed to just the ones, through Aleksandr Koganstest, whose data may have been compromised.

Committee chair Damian Collins asked Kaiser whether the viral app approach to harvesting Facebook data, which CA had developed for work in the U.S., would have been used by the company in other markets too.

That was the ideaalthough in Europe its quite difficult because of the data protectionlaws, responded Kaiser.


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