Late Friday night, Facebook announced that it’s suspending Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) from its platform. You may not have heard of SCL, but its political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica has previously made headlines due to their work with the Brexit initiative as well as the Trump campaign.
According to former US Magistrate and current Facebook Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal, the social giant has moved to issue this ban because an app “thisisyourdigitallife” pulled in personal information of the 270,000 people who used it and friend their friends too. Under policy, this is allowed, but it appears that the creator, a Cambridge psych professor named Dr. Aleksandr Logan, apparently passed the data on to other parties including Cambridge Analytica.
In 2015, Facebook requested that the data be deleted, which according to Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and another man named Christopher Wylie, said they deleted the data, but it appears that isn’t the case. Facebook was informed that not all the data was deleted as previously thought. Now the social galant moved to suspend their access while an investigation is underway.
So, who are these people exactly and what did they do with the data? Last May, The Guardian reported about Cambridge Analytica, stating that a source said Wylie is “the one who brought data and micro-targeting [individualised political messages] to Cambridge Analytica.” Additionally, the report pointed out that Kogan’s app and its link to the company, had combined psychological profiles with specific names, phone numbers and email address as well as the information it bought from consumer databases.