Cambridge Analytica: whistleblower Christopher Wylie speaks out | AFP

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie releases his new book, “Mindf*ck”, detailing how he helped the disgraced company, founded by Donald Trump’s former right-hand man Steve Bannon, to use unauthorised personal data harvested from Facebook to help swing a string of elections, including Trump’s US presidential win in 2016.

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Have Facebook’s privacy policies changed since Cambridge Analytica scandal?

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Cambridge Analytica influencing US elections 2016? Just tip of the iceberg

Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal has published documents he says were leaked from Cambridge Analytica’s parent company. They allegedly reveal that it has been collecting data for private military contractors in Yemen.

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Senators Seek Answers on Cambridge Analytica

Former Cambridge Analytica researcher Christopher Wylie testified before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, as they seek answers into how the London-based firm misused Facebook data during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (May 16)

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Cambridge Analytica’s Aleksandr Kogan Wants You To Know He’s Not A Bad Guy (HBO)

The Cambridge University researcher at the center of the Facebook data scandal has appeared before a British parliamentary committee investigating fake news.

Aleksandr Kogan was working for Cambridge University when he designed a personality testing app which gathered the data of tens of millions of Facebook users.

That data was passed on to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica without user consent, and is alleged to have been used to try and influence voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Kogan told VICE News that he believes a copy of that data is still available, even though Kogan and Cambridge Analytica assured Facebook it had deleted the data. Kogan has said he deleted the data.

“I mean I lost my career for sure,” Kogan told VICE News. “Like It’ll be very difficult for me to ever be an academic anywhere.”

Since being branded a liar by Facebook for his role in the affair, Kogan has been on a road to try and clear his name.

VICE News joined Kogan before — and after — his visit to Britain’s parliament.

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Poll: Facebook Scandal Changes Social Media Use

Many Americans are changing the way they use social media in the aftermath of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (April 24)

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How Privacy Regulation Could Impact Facebook

After it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data from 87 million Facebook users, privacy concerns have been front and center in tech. We have seen increased volatility in the tech sector over the past few weeks and questions about the impact of possible regulations.

Nidhi Gupta, the manager of the Fidelity Select Multimedia Fund says potential regulation falls into 3 buckets: Content safety, antitrust, and data protection. The big one on everyone’s mind following the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal is data protection. 

Europe has already enacted new regulations to protect users’ data which was approved in 2016 and is going into effect this May. According to Gupta, “The general spirit of the GDPR regulation is that users should have control over their private data, and should be opted out by default rather than being defaulted by the service into having their data captured. The other key aspect of the regulation is that the data protection policies should be presented to the user in simple terms, and should not be buried in the legal language of long user agreement documents.”

Facebook gets 25% of its revenue from Europe. The worst-case scenario is that a bunch of users see the explicit consent request, opt out, and deprive Facebook of data in one of its most valuable advertising markets. According to a recent Goldman Sachs analysis, Facebook could lose about 7% of its revenue due to less time spent on the platform and lost ad revenue due to European regulations.

Fidelity’s Nidhi Gupta says privacy concerns are real, but don’t change long-term innovations. She views the real issue as broader than regulation, “When delivering a service that billions of people are using, the hardest constituency to please is your user base. Regulations may actually lag what these platforms need to do to keep users happy.” According to Gupta, the issue ultimately comes back to user trust which these companies have always had to manage.

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How To Prep Before Grilling The Most Powerful Person On The Internet (HBO)

Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the House committee that grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, told VICE News it may be time for other tech CEOs to come before his committee to outline their own data privacy practices.

“This is not just a Facebook issue,” he said in an interview, noting that other internet companies scrape and sell access to consumers’ data just like Facebook.

Walden, an Oregon Republican, said he’d like to know from companies like Amazon or Google, “what are their protections, what are their user agreements? What should we know about their activities? What can they better regulate themselves, so we don’t have to over-regulate here?”

Walden chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Zuckerberg answered five hours worth of questions from members Thursday on everything ranging from its data sharing practices to its efforts to crack down on foreign election medddling. It was the Facebook CEO’s second round of questioning on the Hill, after he testified in front of a Senate panel on Tuesday — part of an apology tour on Capitol Hill meant to reassure lawmakers in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Walden — an Oregon Republican whose district is home to three Facebook data centers — has been cautious on enacting new regulations to prevent similar abuses in the past. After Zuckerberg’s testimony, Walden said he was still giving Facebook the benefit of the doubt when it came to implementing reforms to its data policies.

“They’ve got to show the consumer just us the consumer that they understand their problem, they’re going to fix it and we’re not going to see another apology tour in six months or two years from now,” he said.

If Facebook fails to do so, Walden added, “there are things in terms of how we can better control our own data I think if they don’t fix we can.”

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Using Facebook Now ‘Creepy’ For Some

Facebook is taking steps to protect users’ privacy after revelations that Cambridge Analytica may have accessed information from up to 87 million users, leaving many users feeling ‘creepy’ about using Facebook and social media. (April 5)

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Facebook believes ‘most’ of its 2bn users had their data improperly misused

Facebook has admitted that the scale of a personal data breach, involving the research firm Cambridge Analytica, was far larger than previously estimated.
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Music Streaming Career & Passing Gun Restrictions: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

This is the March 22, 2018 FULL EPISODE of VICE News Tonight on HBO.

3:59 On Saturday, student organizers around the country will hold demonstrations calling for action on school shootings. As people prepare to march, VICE News travels to Denver to visit with three gun control activists attempting to pass gun restrictions.

12:15 VICE News talks to Norman Magaya, the CEO of the party Raila Odinga ran for, about Cambridge Analytica being caught on camera taking credit for running Uhuru Kenyatta’s campaign for president. It comes amid a recent push by the U.S. Embassy to ban fake news.

16:26 As Trump prepares to hit China with tariffs, VICE News looks at Trade Wars and how they play out.

20:06 Brent Faiyaz’s career has been built entirely off his own back. Without label help or involvement, he’s a part of a long list of artists that claim to be indie. We all hear about artists going independent but what does an actual up and coming artist do to operate without label backing?

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DIY Healthcare & #DeleteFacebook Movement : VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

This is the March 23, 2018 FULL EPISODE of VICE News Tonight on HBO.

3:47 The President signed the spending bill that Congress rushed to Trump’s desk to avoid a government spending bill.

7:31 Alaska’s single-payer insurance market is among the most expensive in the country. Seeking a way around the high prices, thousands of Alaskans are opting into Christian health share ministries. This religious-based alternative enables members to avoid paying a penalty for being uninsured. VICE News looks at the good and the bad of this system.

14:59 The Justice Department is using Operation Janus to crack down on naturalized citizens who fraudulently obtained their naturalization.

18:01 New Zealand wants to kill every single rat, possum and stoat in the country. This, the government says, is the only way to save the country’s native and largely flightless birds. VICE News goes to NZ to see the cutting edge rat-killing science that’s being developed to reach what may be an impossible goal.

24:22 Over the past 18 months, Facebook has been in a downward spiral of bad PR and fake news. The social network is in the midst of a controversy storm and with the recent investigation into Cambridge Analytica’s collection of Facebook data – this week has been one of its worst.

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How Truth Lost Its Meaning In Trump’s America: VICE on HBO, Full Episode

In Trump’s America, half the population lives in a world where the “crooked media” tells “fake news” made up of “alternative facts,” while the other half fights to maintain public trust in traditional media.

Much of this stems from the parallel online universe that led up to the 2016 election. Clinton and Trump supporters really don’t listen to each other on Twitter, according to an analysis from the Electome project at the MIT Media Lab provided exclusively to VICE News.

“At least on Twitter, we see that there is a separation of where the journalists, and who the journalists are following, and no one is really listening or plugged into this Trump supporter graph.” Eugene Yi, a data-scientists at the lab told VICE News.

Formerly fringe bloggers, like Milo Yiannopolus and Mike Cernovich, seized the golden opportunity to speak directly to Trump supporters and flooded the internet with false information.

The now-infamous data targeting company Cambridge Analytica allegedly used mass amounts of personal information on the internet to manipulate voters, spreading pro-Trump news, no matter the factual evidence, which may have helped win the election for him.

With Trump in office, conservative new media and the mainstream are now at war over who is “fake news,” and a record low of 32 percent of Americans trust the press. And President Trump’s personal crusade against the traditional press has only deepened the public divide.

But, “the president doesn’t get to decide what the truth is,” CNN’s Jim Acosta, a common target of Trump’s criticisms, told VICE News. VICE’s Isobel Yeung meets the people on the frontlines in the battle for truth.

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There’s Never Been A Better Time To Delete Facebook (Besides Every Other Time)

Following The Cambridge Analytica revelations, Facebook users are beginning to delete their accounts, or if the explosion of the hashtag #DeleteFacebook on Twitter is any indication, are at least considering it.

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Congress Doesn’t Really Know How To Stop More Facebook Data Breaches But States Do

As Congress grapples with how to respond to the scandal engulfing Facebook’s data sharing practices, state attorneys general are taking action, launching investigations and promising lawsuits against the company, if warranted.

At least four states have now asked Facebook to answer questions about the access it gave companies to users’ data, an inquiry prompted after press reports revealed the voter targeting firm used by Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Cambridge Analytica, harvested data from thousands of Facebook users without their permission. On Thursday, Facebook held a conference call with a handful of the state officials to answer their requests.

One state official, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, told VICE News after the call that the states are “just at the beginning stages of this” inquiry. He believes Facebook could have violated two state laws by allowing Cambridge Analytica access to users’ data, even if it was without the company’s explicit knowledge.

That’s because Facebook has a responsibility to protect consumers in Pennsylvania, he said, “And if there was a breach — and it seems like there was a few years ago — there is a responsibility to notify the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other states as well.”

Shapiro said there needs to be tougher federal laws on the books when it comes to regulating companies like Facebook, but he is hopeful the pressure from the states — and the potential fines and negative publicity that go along with it — might be enough to encourage Facebook and other tech companies to focus more on protecting consumer privacy.

“Make no mistake — if we uncover the fact that Facebook failed to adequately protect your information and allowed… someone literally to go into the warehouse, take the information and leave, because they gave them the keys, there can be severe penalties on them,” he said.

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Kenyans Want To Know What Role Cambridge Analytica Played In Their 2017 Presidential Election (HBO)

Footage released earlier this week from the British Channel 4 investigation is raising questions about the extent of Cambridge Analytica’s role in the election after the consultancy’s executives were caught on tape taking credit for President Kenyatta’s winning campaign.

Surveys before the election in August 2017 had already indicated it was a problem for a majority of Kenyans during the presidential campaign. And on social media, voters saw plenty of attack ads against opposition candidate Raila Odinga.

VICE News spoke to members of the National Super Alliance [NASA] and Jubilee parties about the allegations that surfaced this week.

“I think there is every reason for Kenyans to be outraged,” said Norman Magaya, the CEO of the NASA party. “We have been treated to a charade in the form of an election,”

“[The Jubilee Party] have planted seeds of discord that will take generations to heal the way in which we conduct our politics.”

Members of President Kenyatta’s Jubilee party responded to these allegations saying that these allegations are a “non-starter” and that it would be “impossible” to win an election through data mining.

“All I can say is that anybody who think that that works, let them try it out in the year 2022 and then lose again,” said Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju to VICE News.

Cambridge Analytica responded to our request for details regarding their role in the spread of fake news in the Kenyan election: “Cambridge Analytica absolutely rejects allegations made in media reports that it conducted a negative media campaign in the recent Kenyan election or that it was in any way responsible for aggravating ethnic tensions relating to that election.”

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Christopher Wylie: The Whistleblower Who Exposed Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook Scam (HBO)

LONDON — Christopher Wylie played a big role in building one of the most effective political weapons of the digital age. Now he’s trying to make amends.

The 28-year-old London-based Canadian is defying a non-disclosure agreement to blow the whistle on his former employer Cambridge Analytica, the controversial political analytics firm known for its work on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the U.S. and Uhuru Kenyatta’s in Kenya. He says the U.K.-based company, which he helped found in 2013, has built a powerful software program to predict and influence the choices of voters by using data harvested from 50 million leaked Facebook profiles.

The data was collected by an app called thisisyourdigitallife, owned by the Cambridge-based academic Aleksandr Kogan, which was downloaded by about 270,000 people. Users were paid to take a personality test, which they were told would be used for academic research. They might not have known that it also harvested information on their Facebook friends, creating a vast data set that was ultimately sold by Kogan to Cambridge Analytica.

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