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US survey finds Cambridge Analytica misled Facebook users

These data, recovered illegally, would have made it possible to develop very targeted advertisements towards potential voters in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Tens of millions of users have been affected. US authorities said on Wednesday (December 4th) that the British firm Cambridge Analytica, known for the massive hijacking scandal of Facebook users, has misled social network users about how it collects and processes their personal information.

Following an investigation launched in March 2018, the Federal Trade Regulatory Agency, the FTC, concluded that the former data analysis firm had “Harvested the personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users to achieve voter profiles for targeting purposes.”

The FTC did not indicate what follow-up it was considering giving to its conclusions. It banned the company, dissolved in 2018, to lie about how it handles personal data. Earlier this year, the regulator had already negotiated an agreement with former boss, Alexander Nix, and developer Aleksandr Kogan, which requires them to remove or destroy all the personal info they have accumulated.

Cambridge Analytica proposed to network users a “personality test” in terms “false and misleading”, stating in particular that it would not download the names of people or information to identify them. But whistleblowers have revealed in the press that the firm has created psychological profiles of these millions of people, without their knowledge, through the analysis of data, in order to predict their behavior and influence. The quiz was downloaded by 270,000 people, the application also collected information from their contacts.

By 2018, a Facebook internal investigation had established that the data of 87 million US and foreign users had been compromised by the firm whose practices violated its regulation. The social media giant has paid a record $ 5 billion fine this summer for mismanaging the private data of its users.

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