World Media

AG: Nearly 3M Pennsylvanians impacted by Facebook privacy breach

AG: Nearly 3M Pennsylvanians impacted by Facebook privacy breach

Nearly 3 million Pennsylvanians had their private information shared by Facebook with Cambridge Analytica and other third parties, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Thursday.

Investigators in the UK, US, and other countries are still trying to figure out where facebook data was used, including in the 2016 election, and without a review of SCL/CA's computers, hard drives, databases, documents, etc, it's not yet clear what they actually did historically.

"Facebook's making these changes not because we're trying to be hard or add more friction or be disruptive to the building process but truly to ensure that people trust the products that we're building", Archibong said. The commissioner's office said Thursday that it will continue "civil and criminal investigations and will seek to pursue individuals and directors as appropriate and necessary, even where companies may no longer be operating".

The ousted Cambridge Analytica's CEO, Alexander Nix was listed as a director of Emerdata in February, until the firm made a decision to severe ties with him in March.

Cambridge Analytica successfully created a smokescreen over its real time operations that ranged from potentially manipulating US voters to help US President Donald Trump's campaign win the 2016 presidential election, establishing potential links to Russia-to hushing up the fact that several political parties in India have used its services.

"Cambridge Analytica and SCL group can not be allowed to delete their data history by closing". The UK's register of businesses, Companies House, lists Emerdata as a "data processing, hosting and related activities" organisation, led by much of the management and investors in Cambridge Analytics and headquartered in the same offices.

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Per the Companies House filing, the staff includes Rebekah Mercer, the conservative donor, and daughter of billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer who listed her correspondence address as the NY office space of Cambridge Analytica. CA's British parent company, SCL Elections Ltd., will also be closing its doors after suffering a major loss in business, in the aftermath of the data scandal. Other Emerdata directors include people associated with Cambridge Analytica. "The investigations into their work are vital", said the committee's chair Damian Collins.

Cambridge Analytica bosses could still face sanctions if found to have breached data laws despite the collapse of the controversial firm, the information watchdog has said.

Earlier this week, the committee sent a strongly worded letter to Facebook, with 40 questions that had not yet been answered in its testimony, and a deadline of May 11 for Mark Zuckerberg to agree to give evidence directly to the committee before May 24, failing which a formal summons could be issued to him.

The Federal Trade Commission in the USA, meanwhile, also is investigating Facebook.

Since the discovery of the data-sharing lapse, Zuckerberg has promised to tighten security protocol and crack down on data-mining companies who access the vast social network.


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