When Obama Harvested Facebook Data, Everyone Cheered

EDITORIAL by Investor Business Daily

Privacy: Facebook faces what some are calling an "existential crisis" over revelations that its user data fell into the hands of the Trump campaign. Whether or not the attacks on the social media giant are justified, the fact is that the Obama campaign used Facebook (FB) data in the same way in 2012. But the reaction from the pundits and press back then was, shall we say, somewhat different.

According to various news accounts, a professor at Cambridge University built a Facebook app around 2014 that involved a personality quiz. About 270,000 users of the app agreed to share some of their Facebook information, as well as data from people on their friends list. As a result, tens of millions ended up part of this data-mining operation.

Consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which paid for the research, later worked with the Trump campaign to help them target advertising campaigns on Facebook, using the data they'd gathered on users.

But it's not entirely clear how the Trump campaign used the information. According to the New York Times, Cambridge Chief Executive Alexander Nix said that the data "helped shape Mr. Trump's strategy," but the article notes that other campaign officials dispute that.

It goes on to quote Nix saying that Cambridge "did not have enough time to comprehensively model Trump voters."

The complete story here > Funny, When Obama Harvested Facebook Data On Millions Of Users To Win In 2012, Everyone Cheered


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