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The Cambridge Analytica scandal isn’t over yet—and it’s also not limited to Facebook. Twitter also reportedly sold data to researcher Aleksandr Kogan in 2015 and recently banned Cambridge Analytica from its advertising platform.
Kogan denies that the information gleaned from Twitter was shared with Cambridge Analytica, the company that harvested data on tens of millions of Facebook users and then used that data to aid the Trump campaign. The Twitter data, which included a dataset of public tweets, was gathered on only one day and shared with Kogan’s company Global Science Research (GSR). The tweets were dated between December 2014 and April 2015.
In a comment to Bloomberg, a Twitter representative said the company conducted its own internal review and “did not find any access to private data about people who use Twitter.”
However, while Twitter, Kogan, and Cambridge Analytica all assert that nothing unethical happened in the researchers’ access to Twitter data, the social media giant has taken some interesting steps. Of note: Twitter locked Cambridge Analytica out of its advertising platform following its data misuse scandal with Facebook.
Cambridge Analytica has never received Twitter data from GSR or— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) April 30, 2018
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.
Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch that it made a “policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned and operated by Cambridge Analytica on advertising.” The decision was made several weeks ago after determining that the organization’s business model is in direct conflict with Twitter Ads’ approved business practices. According to Twitter’s policy, it bans advertisers from using data to infer or derive sensitive information like race or political affiliation. It also prohibits users from trying to match a user’s Twitter data with “other personal identifiers in unexpected ways.”
Twitter has not altogether banned Cambridge Analytica’s presence on the platform. It can still use Twitter as a normal Twitter user, as long as it follows the app’s rules. Cambridge Analytica is verified on Twitter.
H/T The Next Web
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.