Sina Technology News Beijing morning on May 7th morning, the British Guardian received Facebook data leakage related company mail. The mail showed that Facebook failed to urge Cambridge Analytica to delete user data on the platform, causing the agency to retain a prediction model of the election results based on millions of user data during the United States election.
From the leaked mail, the Cambridge Analytica told Facebook about a year before the general election that they had deleted tens of millions of users from Facebook, and later agreed to delete other data derived from the data. But in fact, the agency still keeps the data.
According to two Cambridge Analytica employees, Cambridge Analytica was employed by Trump during the current presidential campaign of the United States President Donald Trump (Donald Trump) and kept these data models and aggregated with other Facebook data. But until April 2017, Facebook did not reconfirm whether Cambridge Analytica had completely deleted these data models.
The derivation of the data includes the result prediction model and the psychological grouping of these users, which are of great value to the institutions designed to deliver political advertising to the voters. Data scientists say that the value of such models and analysis is often higher than that of raw data.
Cambridge Analytica repeatedly denied that she had stolen Facebook data and claimed that she did not use these data to help Trump.
The report of the guardian also raised other concerns, such as whether Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) testified in the US Congress last month.
Last month, when he went to Congress to attend the hearing, Zuckerberg told the Senate that in December 2015, the company first learned that the other party had stolen a lot of user data, so Facebook “ordered Cambridge Analytica to delete all the data they got, and the other’s chief data officer told us that they had already done it.” The deletion was completed. “
When asked whether Cambridge Analytica had deleted the data, Zuckerberg said he was unable to determine whether the other company had fully fulfilled its commitment, adding, “the response they gave us was that the data had been deleted and all the schools had been sent.”
The Guardian reported in 2015 that Cambridge Analytica obtained a large number of Facebook user data from the University of Cambridge psychologist Alexander Cogan (Aleksandr Kogan) through a Facebook character test. At that time, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica treated the matter as a public relations event, and the latter’s chief data officer, Alex Taylor (Alex Tayler), even asked whether the two sides could release a joint statement.
A few days later, a Facebook executive who was investigating the matter told Taylor that Cambridge Analytica violated the Facebook policy. The Facebook executive said, “we need all of you to take all the necessary means to remove all of this information and all the data derived from this information.” A few weeks later, Taylor said Cambridge Analytica hopes to continue working with Facebook.
An e-mail in December 19th showed that Taylor told Facebook that the data of the company’s users was not used in application development. “For this reason, and we wish to maintain a good partnership with Facebook, we will comply with your requirements and delete all the data we have obtained from Dr. coroot,” Taylor said in the mail. However, in this email, Taylor did not say that he would delete the data derivation according to the requirement of Facebook.
One month later, in January 2016, Facebook sent people to follow up on this, and they thanked Cambridge Analytica for “agreeing to delete all the data derived from the Facebook platform”. “Can you tell us how you store your data and what action you have taken to delete the data?” the Facebook official wrote in a further inquiry. Taylor replied that the company had not yet deleted the data, but said that if Facebook confirmed that the data could be deleted, the data could be deleted. If they solve the problem, they will be happy to delete the data according to the requirements of Facebook.
After another week, Facebook reminded Cambridge Analytica that the data were obtained by improper means and that Cambridge Analytica was obligated to delete. The Facebook executive said in an email: “you said before that you want to maintain a positive and cooperative relationship with us. To maintain this relationship, you need to delete data. “
A week later, Taylor sent Facebook mail to confirm that “Cambridge Analytica has now removed the data from our file server from Dr. Cogan. In addition, I can confirm that I have checked the server to make sure that there is no backup of these data on the server. But this time, Taylor did not mention the data derivation. He did not confirm that the company had deleted the data derivation besides removing data.
Facebook replied to the email, “thank you, Arrakis. If we have further questions, I will contact you. If you and your team have any questions about us, please do contact us. Thank you once again. “
A former executive of Cambridge Analytica acknowledged that Facebook could easily insist that Cambridge Analytica delete the model built using the cog’s data, and that Facebook knew that the political advertisers such as Cambridge Analytica could bring them very substantial profits.
The former Cambridge Analytica executive said: “they (Facebook) could have banned us on their platform at that time. But to be honest, we can spend millions of dollars on their platforms. “
In April 2017, 16 months after the first request to delete data, Facebook received an official confirmation from Cambridge Analytica, saying they no longer have the derivation of Facebook user data.
A spokesman for Facebook said: “in January 2016, we received an e-mail confirmation from Cambridge Analytica by email that they had deleted all the data and checked the server to confirm that there was no backup on the server.” The spokesman then added that by September 2016, the company “reiterated to us through their lawyers that they had deleted all the Facebook data, including data derivation. We have received an official confirmation from Cambridge Analytica confirming that they have deleted all data obtained by improper means.
But two former employees of Cambridge Analytica said that, in fact, between 2016 and 2017, the agency kept the models derived from Facebook data and other user personal information. The two former employees confirmed that Cambridge Analytica stores user data from Facebook.
One of the former employees said that by the end of 2016, he had seen the company’s servers with aggregated data from Facebook users, which included the interest of these Facebook users.
The former employee revealed: “these data are stored in a central database, but stored in a hidden corner of another server, but as long as you know where the data are hidden, you can easily get the data. I was surprised at that. Previously, the company told us that these data had been deleted and could not be used in customer products. “
In addition, there are signs that in the spring of 2017, Cambridge Analytica conducted a review of the company’s services and found the data derived from the Facebook datasets. But the company still did not delete it, though they knew that the data retained could lead to controversial events.
Around March 2017, after media coverage, Cambridge Analytica conducted an internal review to find Facebook data on its servers.
A former Cambridge Analytica employee said that at that time, the company asked employees to delete all clues related to Facebook data on servers and laptops. The former employee disclosed: “at that time, the company attached great importance to this matter. They looked at all of our documents. They do not want the company to leave traces of Facebook data.
Cambridge Analytica denied that the company had the “secret cache” of Facebook data. A spokesman for the company said they had confirmed to Facebook in January 2016 that they had deleted all the data from the Global Science Research (GSR) Company from the coroot. And at the same time, they started the search and delete process to ensure that they deleted all the data derived.
Cambridge Analytica said last week that the scandal caused them to lose a large number of customers. The company announced that it would close its business. However, documents from Britain show that the company’s top plan is to restart its operation by changing the name of the company.
In August 2017, a company called Emerdata Limited was registered in the UK, which was the time when Cambridge Analytica stolen Facebook users’ data by the media. The company’s chief data officer, Taylor, and Julian Whitlan (Julian Wheatland), President of Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, are owners of Emerdata Limited. In March 2018, another company called Firecrest Technologies Limited was incorporated into Emerdata Limited’s subsidiary.
At first, Cambridge Analytica’s predecessor CEO Alexander Nikos (Alexander Nix) was appointed as the director of the two companies, but then he was removed from the list of directors. But two daughters, Rebecca Mercer (Rebekah Mercer) and Jennifer Mercer (Jennifer Mercer), still the director of Emerdata, the two daughters of the US hedge fund billionaire, Cambridge Analytica investors and Trump electoral sponsor Robert Mercer (Robert Mercer). (month’s constant)