Twitter Also Sold Data To Cambridge Analytica Researcher

We all know very well that the recent scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has generated a huge boom in users and their attitude to social networks and other online services. However, now according to the latest reports, the well-known micro social network site, Twitter also sold users’ data to Cambridge Analytica researcher.

The recent scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has generated a huge boom in users and their attitude to social networks and other online services.

However, this use of user data by Cambridge Analytica was not limited to the social network giant Facebook, and it was now discovered that Twitter was also involved in the sale and sharing of data to an entity of Aleksandr Kogan, creator of the app that collected and provided user data from Facebook.

Recently Facebook has been under fire because of the moves made by Cambridge Analytica using the most popular social network in the world. It is estimated that data from more than 87 million users were used and several applications were used to acquire the same data.

Since then all the online services have been under suspicion and namely social networks that have access to numerous user data, and Twitter also provided data to members of Cambridge Analytica in 2015.

This information is advanced by the Bloomberg news agency that was able to contact Twitter itself and confirm access to user data by Global Science Research (GSR), a company of Aleksandr Kogan, the creator of the application that collected data from dozens of millions of Facebook users.

Using Global Science Research, Aleksandr Kogan was able to access public data of Twitter users. According to the company of 280 characters, GSR paid for timely access to the API of a sample of published public tweets in a five-month interval, from December 2014 to April 2015. However, based on the reports made, Twitter guarantees that the company of Aleksandr Kogan did not have access to private data of the users of the social network.

“In 2015, GSR did have one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets from a five-month period from December 2014 to April 2015. Based on the recent reports, we conducted our own internal review and did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.”

Twitter also said it has excluded Cambridge Analytica and its affiliates from posting sponsored posts on its social network.

What are the implications and risks of this access by Global Science Research?

Since Global Science Research had access to public tweets and its affiliation with Cambridge Analytica is known, it will not be possible to discard the use of this data by the company that specializes in the definition of political strategies, as in the case of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Since social networks, as a rule, have free access to the user, their business model is through the sale of data and advertising. Twitter, during the first quarter of 2018, saw an increase in “data licensing revenues” in the order of 20%, reaching the US $90 million.

According to Twitter’s policies, the company discloses only public data of users and controls the purposes for which they are used. This posture conveys confidence to consumers but the gaps and weaknesses in these controls are a reality, just look at the recent case of Facebook.

Even if, as a general rule, the social network giant Facebook has access to much more user data than Twitter, sharing of data by Twitter with entities associated with Cambridge Analytica does not favour the image of the social network.

There are already many users who are interested in pay-mode social networks where their data is not shared with third parties and there are even decentralized social networking concepts based on Blockchain.
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