This is the third in a series of four posts about corporate takedowns. The first post was about American Apparel. Last week’s post was about Theranos. Today’s post is about Facebook, focused on the recent Cambridge Analytica data sharing revelations. The fourth and final post, on April 24, will discuss Gawker.
For an in-depth discussion of general compliance issues with Facebook as an online platform, check out this post.
In March 2018, The New York Times and The Guardian published a series of investigative articles exposing a data breach between the social media platform Facebook and the UK political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. This has incited a firestorm of controversy around data sharing, privacy expectations, online community moderation practices, and ethical standards for consumer protections by companies holding their data.
- This is an excellent and simple primer for the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica sandal: The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, explained with a simple diagram
- This is The Guardian’s reporting, led by Carole Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison and detailing the information revealed by whistleblower Christopher Wylie: Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach
- This is the reporting by The New York Times, with contributions from Matthew Rosenberg, Nicholas Confessore, and Carole Cadwalladr, and going into deep detail on the political impact of the data sharing: How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions
- One of the central focuses of the public controversy over the data sharing scandal has been the depiction of the actions of the companies involved as “dishonest” and “cheating,” an interesting commentary on the current status of truthfulness and trust in society: A Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Claims that “Cheating” Swung the Brexit Vote
- Alexander Kogan, the creator of the app which Cambridge Analytica used to exploit the data of Facebook users who took surveys on it, has started speaking out about his role in kicking off the scandal: Man behind Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data mining says he’s sorry
- The public reception of the scandal has included a popular movement to delete Facebook user accounts and attempt to retrieve private information from the social media network service. The #DeleteFacebook campaign has gained significant traction, but this could be a watershed moment for consumer-led reforms in privacy standards and data sharing practices: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: Don’t delete Facebook, but reform it
- Facebook’s business ties with third party developers and data users have come under close scrutiny in the context of this controversy, causing people to question whether the rights of users are subjugated to the interests of commercial partners such as Cambridge Analytica: Facebook’s Ties with Kogan and Cambridge Were Even Cozier Than We Thought
- The business of Big Data is here to stay. Therefore users must raise their own expectations and introduce self-regulatory standards to their practices, considering data as valuable as any of our other most important assets: At stake in Cambridge Analytica scandal? Not just privacy, but freedom itself
- Politicians, journalists, and especially regulators are all eager to investigate what exactly happened with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and what standards or omissions or violations allowed the sharing practices to take place. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is conducting a non-public investigation of its own: FTC confirms probe into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandal
- Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, is, like many whistleblowers, a complex figure who has faced his share of public scrutiny and criticism both for his inactions and actions: Christopher Wylie: How Cambridge Analytica’s whistleblower became Facebook’s unlikely enemy
For more on the internet and evolving privacy expectations and standards, check out this post and this post.
Check back next Tuesday, April 24, for the final post in this series, which will discuss the demise of Gawker.