Cambridge Analytica has announced that they are in the beginning stages of insolvency. This comes nearly a month since the Facebook breach was announced, where Cambridge Analytica was perceived to be at the core of this cyber security scandal. While all wrongdoings by the massive data firm have been denied, it has been alleged that the firm illegally collected data generated from a quiz taken by Facebook users. Once the data was collected by the firm, it was then used to create tailored political ads.
The data of roughly 87 million users was collected over Facebook’s third-party interface, Graph API. The Guardian states, the quiz used to gather the personal information of Facebook users was created by Cambridge researcher, Aleksandr Kogan. All of the personal data shared from the quiz is alarming- religion, location and photos are just some of the details absorbed by the quiz. Kogan then passed these details along to Cambridge Analytica so that the political ads may be created and introduced to specific users or audiences.
To add insult to injury, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO was in hot water for confessing that their data was indeed used to influence the election and stored on a self-destructing email server. The volatile combination of the data scandal and the above confession have irreversibly scarred the reputation of Cambridge Analytica. Consumers and associates with the data firm have reportaly abandoned ship, leaving the firm unable to proceed forward in a positive manner.
While Cambridge Analytica has met its demise, there has been chatter of a new data firm founded by those in charge with Cambridge that will be known as Emerdata Limited.. Those involved with the new data firm may wish to rewire their practices in order to create a transparent relationship with consumers and businesses.
Facebook has also received backlash over their third-party relationships and failure to disclose details regarding such relationships. Facebook has since decided to relinquish their third-party data sharing service, Partner Categories. Facebook users can hope that this is a step towards a more transparent social media platform. Facebook should take this data scandal as a warning. Failing to establish and maintain a honest, transparent relationship with users is detrimental to any business. In the event of a breach, emitting transparency and making consumers aware is vital to the recovery of the business. Failure to disclose early on in the breach damages consumers, business relationships and credibility. Mitigation tactics such as monitoring software can help detect breaches and lessen lag time. Click below to learn more about Teramind.