Ever since the scandal of Facebook selling data to Cambridge Analytica has emerged, users have started putting more attention to what they are sharing on their social media. Now, in another news, it has been brought forward that Twitter also gave the data of its users to the Cambridge Analytica related researcher, Aleksandr Kogan.
The Sunday Telegraph very recently reported that Dr. Kogan was able to gain a one-time API access to a sample of random public tweets spanning over a five-month period between December 2014 and April 2015. Aleksandr Kogan is the same data researcher who created Facebook personality profiles for Cambridge Analytica, using the data which Facebook had provided him.
Although it hasn’t yet been confirmed if this data was actually used for non-ethical purposes, Dr. Kogan has stated that the data was just used for building “brand reports” and “survey extender tools”, all remaining well inbound of Twitter’s policies. On the other hand, Cambridge Analytica also stated that the data Kogan received from Twitter was never bought by Cambridge Analytica.
Cambridge Analytica has never received Twitter data from GSR or
Aleksandr Kogan, and has never done any work with GSR on Twitter data. GSR was only ever a contractor to Cambridge Analytica and we understand it did work for many other companies.
— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) April 30, 2018
It might be noted here, that Twitter formally allows large enterprises and companies to access data that can be used to gauge public sentiments surrounding certain events.
Very recently, it was brought forward that Facebook had let Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm, to use the data of as much as 87 million users without their consent to design political campaigns in voters in the US elections. As the scandal was unfolding, the company faced a huge backlash. Just yesterday, WhatsApp co-founder left Facebook amid data privacy issues.