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Facebook fails to ‘trump’ the data protection game yet again

A whistleblower revealed how Donald Trump used data mining bigwig Cambridge Analytica to collect data without authorization to influence voters during his presidential run.

Turns out that the archetypal paranoid who rambled on about why Facebook cannot be trusted was right all along.

Facebook is in the soup again for leaking user information to data mining firm Cambridge Analytica. The Guardian reported that personal data of around 50 million users was reportedly harnessed to gather intelligence to propel Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

Last year, a study published by the University of Oxford pegged the 2016 US presidential elections as a “watershed moment” that witnessed social media manipulation at its worst. The report pointed out how Trump and Clinton harnessed big data and bots to swing public opinion in their favour.

How Cambridge-gate played out

On February 16, Facebook announced it was banning Cambridge Analytica – the firm employed by Donald Trump to aid his presidential run. Facebook revealed that the company wronged by obtaining information from 270,000 citizens for a supposed research app, masked as a personality test.

The Observer disclosed that Facebook knew about the breach for over two years, but hadn't mentioned it publicly until now.

A whistleblower revealed to the Observer that Cambridge Analytica, headed by Trump’s erstwhile key adviser Steve Bannon, used personal information taken without authorisation from Facebook in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.

Update: Facebook stock takes a swan dive

 Since the data breach scandal hit Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has lost nearly USD 6.8 billion whereas the company has lost nearly USD 50 billion in market capitalization. The company has a market cap of about USD 500 billion, with Zuckerberg owning USD 70 billion worth of shares. 

#DeleteFacebook goes viral 

WhatsApp Co-founder Brian Acton, who left the company in late 2017 took a jab at the social media giant in a tweet that said: