Facebook on Friday said it was suspending Cambridge Analytica, a political data analytics firm, and its parent body Strategic Communication Laboratories for violating the social media network’s data privacy policies. The firm worked for United States President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, Reuters reported.
The social media network said it found that Alexandr Kogan, a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge, had in 2015 passed on data from an app he had created to Cambridge Analytica. The app had been downloaded by 2.7 lakh Facebook users.
Kogan also passed on the data to Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies Inc, Facebook discovered.
Subsequently, the social media network deleted the app and asked Kogan, Wylie and Cambridge Analytica that the leaked information had been destroyed. All three parties confirmed that the data no longer existed.
However, Facebook said that some days ago, it received reports that not all data had been destroyed. Facebook Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal said the company was “moving aggressively” to find out if the reports were true. Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica, Wylie and Kogan have been suspended from Facebook.
“We will take legal action if necessary to hold them responsible and accountable for any unlawful behaviour,” Grewal said.