Cambridge Analytica controversy: Explained

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on March 21, 2018 apologised for the data debacle that has dragged the social media giant into a huge controversy and said that he was ready to testify before the Congress. Zuckerberg said, “What we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge. If that’s me, then I am happy to go.” Facebook employs a small army of lawyers and lobbyists in Washington, Zuckerberg himself has never testified before a congressional committee.

Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a privately held data analytics firm, which was established in 2013 as an offshoot of its British parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) Group. The company mainly combines data mining, data brokerage and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process.

Key Highlights:-
1. The analytics company is alleged to have a hand in assisting with Donald Trump’s victory in US Presidential Elections 2016, by using unethically gathered data to manipulate voter behaviour.
2. The firm has also allegedly worked with the Leave EU camp during Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit).
3. The company was allegedly hired by Trump’s campaign team to help with data crunching during the 2016 election season. Steve Bannon, then Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, who eventually became an advisor to Trump, was also said to be the vice president of CA’s board.

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