Lesson to learn from Cambridge Analytica Scam
The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scam is doing the rounds of media and is in much publicity these days. You all might have read many articles on it or heard about it on various news portals but due to the entanglement of what actually happened, or what is tittle-tattle to have happened many people find it very difficult to comprehend. So to stay updated and to provide with a better awareness into the matter, here the detailed discussion of what is the scandal all about given in a simple and much understandable approach.
All Important Factors related to Cambridge Analytica Scam
⇒Who are all the Key Players in this scandal?
Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a British political consulting firm which synthesizes data mining, data analysis and data brokerage with strategic communication for the electoral process. Facebook is the social media giant through which data of 50 million Facebook users got exposed to the researcher who worked at Cambridge Analytica, also worked for the Trump campaign. Before Cambridge Analytica, there was the Strategic Communication Laboratories Group(SCL) Group. It is, basically, a messaging and PR firm that had performed work for governments, politicians, and militaries around the world. Christopher Wylie, the data scientist, is a former Cambridge Analytica employee turned informant. Steve Bannon former White House Chief Strategist had a deep link to the embattled data firm, Cambridge Analytica. He helped discover the data company and give assistance as its vice president. Aleksandr Kogan, the originator of facebook app “this is your digital life” actually was the one who collected all the data by using this quiz app on facebook.
This is not the 1st time when, Cambridge Analytica has come under fire from a scandal, as per an article published in The Guardian during the Brexit referendum, a digital services firm tie-up to Cambridge Analytica collected a £625,000 amount from a pro-Brexit campaign organisation which had been given the money by Vote Leave, potentially disobey referendum spending rules & regulations.
⇒ What actually is Cambridge Analytica Scam?
As per Christopher Wylie former Cambridge Analytica employee, the firm got data throughout 50 million Facebook users through researcher Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian American who worked for the University of Cambridge. Aleksandr Kogan, in 2014 developed a personality-prediction app known as “this is your digital life” which passed along personal data from 50 million Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica and the data was used to create targeted advertisement rumoured to be tailored ads for the political campaign in the US. The Trump campaign started working with Cambridge Analytica in 2016. Trump even designated Steve Bannon, a former vice president of Cambridge Analytica, his campaign’s chief executive.
⇒Now Question arises that Is our data safe with Facebook?
Let it be clear that if you put down any personal information on a Facebook page, expecting it to be harvested and handed-down by Facebook and 3rd parties. Each & Every time you link an app or any device or account with your social media account let it be Google+, Facebook or Twitter. The application always asks you to grant permission to access your data which may be contacts, images, friends list, cookies, search data, geographical location etc. But, if you want to lock down what entirely can be composed, you should never ever grant irrelevant apps access to your Facebook account or any information.
⇒How are people of India concerned with Cambridge Analytica Scam?
At First, let us make it crystal clear that Data in the Digital Era is a Currency especially for PR, Analytical firms, and Facebook. Through such collected data, a company can inspect the likes and dislikes, preferences of any person or users and then they manifest relevant advertisements as per the person’s searches and preferences result. This is how Facebook generate revenue and it is postulated that Google and Facebook bring one-fifth of global digital advertisement revenue. Now the rumours come across us that somewhat similar to the US, even in India, such Political Campaigns can start by using this platform of social media possibly for 2019 elections as we all know that India gives a huge user base to Facebook and the company unquestionably have a huge data of Indian citizens. This data can play a key role to create psychological profiles and then if the data is agreement then even in India users can be targeted by broadcasting tailored political advertisements that fit with their psychological profiles. All of this although not directly but indirectly can be able to manipulate a person’s choice to give their vote for a certain party or candidate. But as of now, there are no certain claims comes into the picture that any such digital initiative is taking place in India, these are an assumption from what happened or immersed in the radar in the US election campaign.
As we know Facebook and Google have already connected with state governments in India in various projects correlated with digital initiatives like ‘SheMeansBusiness’ programme for train women entrepreneurs in Orissa. Facebook has offered to enlarge cooperation with the Government of Andhra Pradesh for providing Internet services to its people through the fibre grid. Google tied up with Railtel for railway station free Wi-Fi access. This in future may create an ecosystem environment of co-dependence between governments and companies like Facebook and Google for data mining and business intelligence operations.
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