Facebook bans another political data analytics firm

By Asra Rizwan on
April 7, 2018
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In the wake of Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has been making rigorous efforts for remediation of the breach of user trust caused by the scandal. Three weeks after the social network banned Cambridge Analytica for illegally accessing over 87 million user profiles, it has now put a ban on another political data analytics firm.

In a high profile move, Facebook has now banned a Canadian advertising and analytics firm, AggregateIQ. It was indicated that the firm may be linked to the same parent company, SCL, that Cambridge Analytica was a part of. However, the analytic’s firm website says that it has no connection with SCL or Cambridge Analytica, denying allegations that they had no access to leaked user profiles. Facebook issued a statement that said,

“In light of recent reports that AggregateIQ may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received Facebook user data, we have added them to the list of entities we have suspended from our platform while we investigate”

AggregateIQ has been previously linked with the successful vote to have the United Kingdom leave European Union, that resulted in Brexit. Similarly, Cambridge Analytica worked for Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign and was alleged to influence the US 2016 elections. Facebook has now vowed to help Pakistan in the upcoming elections and only verified political ads will be allowed to run on the social network.

Facebook is also auditing its records to identify if any other company may have taken advantage of the third-party application services that provided access to user data. As they try to find more of such firms, they are also devising a comprehensive way to put them out of the biggest social network so the community knows and feels safe. Such efforts include Facebook not allowing third-party applications anymore to have access to data without user consent. In a crackdown against Russian misinformation agency, Facebook also removed over 250 accounts and pages that were scraping data through a search feature. Therefore, Facebook has also shut down searching for users by email and phone number.

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