Cambridge Analytica used other quiz apps to harvest Facebook data, says ex-employee

Kyle Chua

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Cambridge Analytica used other quiz apps to harvest Facebook data, says ex-employee


New information coming out of a UK committee investigation suggests other quiz apps used by the research firm may have compromised far more than the 87 million Facebook users estimated

MANILA, Philippines – Brittany Kaiser, a former employee for Cambridge Analytica, testified on Tuesday, April 17, in front of a UK committee investigating the scandal and claimed the research firm used other quiz apps to harvest personal data from Facebook users.

“I should emphasise that the Kogan/GSR datasets and questionnaires were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica (CA) used,” she wrote in her testimony.

“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 login – for example, the ‘sex compass’ quiz,” she added.

According to TechCrunch, Kaiser’s written and spoken testimony said she did not know the specifics of what particular quiz apps were used and how the data was obtained. What she makes clear is that the number of Facebook users whose data had been compromised through quiz or survey apps involving Cambridge Analytica exceed the 87 million estimate.

“In my pitches I used to give examples even to clients that if you go on Facebook and you see these viral personality quizzes — not all of them would have been designed by Cambridge Analytica/SCL Group or our affiliates but at these applications were designed specifically to harvest data from individuals, using Facebook as the tool,” she told the committee.

Kaiser, who left Cambridge Analytica in January, stated that she was not a data scientist and that she never personally handled the datasets of the company. She only found out about the quizzes through the media in 2015 and gained more insight during the ensuing investigations.

Facebook has since been on crackdown of any app it saw as a threat to its users’ privacy and personal data. Two data analytics firms were recently suspended for the same reasons Cambridge Analytica is embroiled in this growing scandal.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said in his written testimony to the US House of Representatives, “we are currently investigating all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014.”

As much as Facebook tries to secure its platform, it’s a good bet to assume many of its users have been compromised in one way or another. –

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