Facebook’s in hot water over Cambridge Analytica’s improper use of its users data. We break down the story and broader implications.

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Social media powerhouse Facebook has been embroiled in yet another data breach scandal involving the unauthorised release of data from over 50 million Facebook user accounts.

British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, best known for assisting the 2016 presidential campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump, is at the centre of the latest controversy.

 

Who is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is subsidiary of SCL Group, a 25-year-old government and military contractor that says it works on everything from counter-narcotics to political campaigns.

The company was formed in 2013 to focus specifically on U.S. elections, with US$15 million in funding from billionaire Republican donor Robert Mercer, and its name chosen by future White House advisor Steve Bannon.

Cambridge Analytica assisted both Republicans Ted Cruz’s and Ben Carson’s presidential campaigns before supporting Donald Trump.

The firm markets itself as providing targeted advertising, consumer research and other data-related services to both corporate and political clients. Cambridge Analytica boasts it has developed psychological profiles of consumers and voters, which is used to sway them more effectively than traditional advertising would.

 

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About Kevin Hua

Kevin Hua is a Co-Founder of AtlasTrend, an online investment platform that makes it easy for anyone to learn and invest in trends transforming our world. Kevin has over 20 years experience in financial markets including as Senior Portfolio Manager at Atrium Investment Management and Stark Investments.