The Cambridge Analytica scandal, simply put, happened like this: 50 million Facebook users had their data exposed by Facebook to a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, which worked on the Trump campaign.
Now, let’s go into specifics. Cambridge Analytica’s vice president, Steve Bannon, convinced billionaires Rebekah and Robert Mercer to fund Cambridge Analytica, and also introduced it to the Trump campaign. All of Cambridge Analytica’s work is done by the SCL group, which also worked on the Trump campaign. They were able to gain access to the personal data from Facebook through Aleksander Kogan, a Russian American who worked at Cambridge University. Kogan built a Facebook quiz app that collected data from people who took the quiz, and also data from the Facebook friends of the quiz takers as well.
Cambridge Analytica then sold this data, even tho Facebook prohibited it. The results and responses? People have started filing legal complaints about use of data, as well as suing for damages. The #DeleteFacebook movement is also on the rise. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has also come out and said, “…The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.” Facebook recently also said that it would be changing the way it shares data with third-party applications. Many people are questioning Facebook’s reliability as well as their credibility, putting its reputation at risk.