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Facebook hires digital forensics firm to audit Cambridge Analytica

20 March 2018

Facebook announced it had suspended Cambridge Analytica on Saturday, stripping it of its ability to buy ads, as USA and British lawmakers called for government investigations of the breach.

"Self-regulation is not working", Grygiel said.

Facebook on Sunday faced a backlash about how it protects user data, as American and British lawmakers demanded that it explain how a political data firm with links to President Trump's 2016 campaign was able to harvest private information from more than 50 million Facebook profiles without the social network's alerting users.

"Our investigation into the use of personal data for political campaigns, includes the acquisition and use of Facebook data by SCL, Doctor Kogan and Cambridge Analytica".

"Recent media reports regarding the use of personal information posted on Facebook for political purposes raise serious privacy concerns", Therrien said in the statement.

Not only does this undercover admission look awful on its face, but Cambridge Analytica is subject to United Kingdom laws since it operates there (along with being registered in the USA, where it's facing an investigation from the MA attorney general).

Were you surprised that a researcher could access so much data and allegedly pass it to a third party in violation of Facebook's data use rules?

While Wylie said he doesn't know to what extent Trump's campaign used the techniques, he said Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was meeting with Cambridge Analytica in 2015, before Trump even announced his run for office. Cambridge Analytica is registered in DE and nearly wholly owned by the Mercer family, but it is effectively a shell — it holds intellectual property rights to its psychographic modeling tools, yet its clients are served by the staff at London-based SCL and overseen by Nix, who is a British citizen.

Watch the full Channel 4 broadcast on Cambridge Analytica below.

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Britain's information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, told Channel 4 she plans to seek a warrant to access servers of data mining firm Cambridge Analytica.

"Mr Nix told our reporter: "...we're used to operating through different vehicles, in the shadows, and I look forward to building a very long-term and secretive relationship with you". "Many of our clients don't want to be seen to be working with a foreign company". "It has to happen without anyone thinking, ?Thats propaganda".

In a later conversation featuring Nix, however, the chief executive appears to float the idea that they could entrap candidates with potential bribes, "instantly having video evidence of corruption, putting it on the internet".

Nix then suggested they could have someone pose as a wealthy developer.

In another exchange with the undercover reporters, Nix said that his firm could "offer a large amount of money to the candidate".

"He effectively pitched an earlier version of exactly this to us back in 2009 and we said, 'No'". In one interaction with the British TV network's reporters - posing as potential Cambridge Analytica clients - Nix is heard saying that he could "send some girls around to the candidate's house", and adding that Ukrainian prostitutes in particular "are very handsome, I find that works very well". "Im just saying, we could bring some Ukrainians in on holiday with us you know", Nix replied. He said the firm "works on creating a web of disinformation online so people start going down the rabbit hole of clicking on blogs, websites etc. that make them think things are happening that may not be". "I find that works very well".

For Nix, the footage comes at an already perilous moment.

In response to the Channel 4 News investigation, Cambridge Analytica said in a statement: "We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes or so-called "honey-traps" for any objective whatsoever".

Facebook hires digital forensics firm to audit Cambridge Analytica