NEWS21 March 2018

Cambridge University researcher believed Facebook work was legal

Data analytics News North America Privacy Public Sector Technology UK

UK – The Cambridge University academic at the centre of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Aleksandr Kogan, has said he believed the work he did with the firm was “perfectly legal”.

Facebook smartphone apps_crop

Kogan worked with Cambridge Analytica in 2014 to develop a Facebook personality survey app called ‘This is your Digital Life’.

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the Observer that the company used data obtained from the app – harvested from user profiles – to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election.

Kogan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today ( 21 March) that he felt he was being blamed.

He said: “My view is that I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Honestly, we thought we were acting perfectly appropriately. We thought we were doing something that was really normal.

“We were assured by Cambridge Analytica that everything was perfectly legal and within the terms of service.”

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have denied wrongdoing.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been called upon by MPs to give evidence to the digital, culture, media and sport committee, according to the Guardian. The company’s market value dropped by $40bn following the reports.


1 Comment

6 years ago

This is worrying! Many working in data analytics think data acquired this way is legal and above board and are not aware of codes and guidelines. See ESOMAR director general Finn Raben's Op-ed in the Independent here:

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