Social media platform Twitter has confirmed that it sold data to the same bloke – Dr Aleksandr Kogan – who obtained the treasure trove of Facebook data improperly used by Cambridge Analytica.
In case you need to be filled in, Cambridge Analytica got a hold of around 50 million users’ Facebook data and used it to serve ultra-targeted ads for the Trump election campaign. The data was scooped up thanks to a third-party app which also managed to obtain the data of friends connected to those who actually used it, despite not having their permission to do so at all.
The whole thing was a colossal clusterfuck and looks to reach further than originally thought, with Twitter confirming to The Telegraph that GSR, the company owned by old mate Kogan, purchased access to a random sample of public tweets from a period of 5 months between December 2014 and April 2015.
It’s not out of the ordinary for Twitter to sell this kind of access to businesses for surveying purposes, but the company says it has blocked Cambridge Analytica and its associated businesses from advertising on the platform moving forward.
“Twitter has also made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned and operated by Cambridge Analytica,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Telegraph.
“This decision is based on our determination that Cambridge Analytica operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices. Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.”
Cambridge Analytica made a tweet today stating that the Twitter data gathered by Kogan was never purchased or used by them.
Cambridge Analytica has never received Twitter data from GSR or
Aleksandr Kogan, and has never done any work with GSR on Twitter data. GSR was only ever a contractor to Cambridge Analytica and we understand it did work for many other companies.
— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) April 30, 2018
It’s worth noting that even if the company did use Twitter data as part of its advertising campaign, it wouldn’t be the same as it has been with Facebook. For starters, Twitter doesn’t force users to user their real names, nor does it store the kind of personal information Facebook does.
Either way, you can probably expect to hear more of these kinds of stories in the coming months.
The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans
It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.