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Cambridge Analytica Researcher Denies Stealing Data; Says Facebook's Policies Were Flawed

Cambridge Analytica Researcher Denies Stealing Data; Says Facebook's Policies Were Flawed”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pointed a finger at Kogan during his congressional testimony last week, accusing the psychologist of violating his agreement with Facebook by selling the data to Cambridge Analytica.

In response to the Kogan's 60 Minutes interview, Cambridge Analytica released a statement claiming that the data Kogan harvested "underperformed" compared to more traditional demographic data, and added that it did not use Kogan's data for its work on 2016 presidential campaigns for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.

In an interview with CBS News, Kogan said, "The idea that we stole the data, I think, is technically incorrect". He was the one who designed the personality quiz that granted access to personal data ― location, gender, birthday and page likes for the person taking the quiz as well as their friends ― on tens of millions of Facebook users. The company has also said that none of the information was used in its work for the election. "I knew it was going to be for elections..." Critically, he was quoted saying, "I had an understanding or a feeling that it was going to be for the Republican side". His app's terms of service stipulated users' permission to disseminate, transfer or sell their data, though it was in breach with the social network's developer policy, the academic said. Facebook's developer policy, though, states that data can not be transferred or sold. And they can audit. As he said to BuzzFeed News, "If there's one message I want parliament to walk away from, it's not: Alex didn't do anything wrong, he's been scapegoated.The main message is: What you've been anxious about is b******t, but there is a real issue to think about". I had a terms of service that was up there for a year and a half that said I could transfer and sell the data.

Cambridge Analytica Researcher Denies Stealing Data; Says Facebook's Policies Were Flawed

Kogan served as a director of Global Science Research (GSR) where he exploited a Facebook loophole and used an app to harvest data from as many as 87 million users. "I think that core idea that we had-that everybody knows and nobody cares-was fundamentally flawed". Never heard a word. "I believe people own their content", he told the House panel. "Back then, we thought it was fine".

"The belief in Silicon Valley and certainly our belief at that point was that the general public must be aware that their data is being sold and shared and used to advertise to them", he added.

Aleksandr Kogan said he had created a survey, that would analyse the psychological profiles of respondents, and predict behaviour.

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