Matthew Rosenberg, Nicholas Confessore, and Carole Cadwalladr, reporting for The New York Times:
Details of Cambridge’s acquisition and use of Facebook data have
surfaced in several accounts since the business began working on
the 2016 campaign, setting off a furious debate about the merits
of the firm’s so-called psychographic modeling techniques.
But the full scale of the data leak involving Americans has not
been previously disclosed — and Facebook, until now, has not
acknowledged it. Interviews with a half-dozen former employees and
contractors, and a review of the firm’s emails and documents, have
revealed that Cambridge not only relied on the private Facebook
data but still possesses most or all of the trove.
Cambridge paid to acquire the personal information through an
outside researcher who, Facebook says, claimed to be collecting it
for academic purposes.
During a week of inquiries from The Times, Facebook downplayed the
scope of the leak and questioned whether any of the data still
remained out of its control. But on Friday, the company posted a
statement expressing alarm and promising to take action.
This was not a security breach. This is simply what Facebook is: a massive surveillance machine.
The data that Facebook leaked to Cambridge Analytica is the same
data Facebook retains on everyone and sells targeting services
around. The problem is not shady Russian researchers; it’s
Facebook’s core business model of collect, store, analyze,