If you are still recuperating from the shock how Cambridge Analytica secured data from Facebook and manipulated your voting decisions in elections, the revelations by Twitter will give another shock to you.
Not only Facebook, but the world’s another biggest social media Twitter also sold data to the Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan’s Global Science Research (GSR).
The microblogging site admitted to Bloomberg and said that in 2015, GSR was given one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets between a period from December 2014 to April 2015.
Aleksandr Kogan and his firm are complicit in gaining millions of Facebook Inc. users’ information and later passing to a political consulting firm without the users’ consent.
Twitter explained that it provides public data to certain companies, developers and users through its application programming interfaces (APIs), which often use them to analyze events, sentiment or customer service.
The clients, however, need to explain how they plan to use the data, and who the end users will be.
Amidst this, Twitter also registered a growth of about 20 percent, to $90 million, in “data licensing and other revenue” in the first quarter.
Besides, the microblogging site is under fire over the failure of Twitter preventing misinformation and abuse on its platform which has risen since the 2016 election. In the first quarter, the company deleted more than 142,000 applications connected to the Twitter API that was collectively responsible for more than 130 million “low-quality” tweets during the period.
Recently, Facebook was found itself embroiled in a controversy. Last month, The Observer published the account of a former worker at data firm Cambridge Analytica, who lifted the lid on the company’s relationship with Facebook.
Christopher Wylie revealed how Kogan harvested data from users via a personality quiz on the social network and, through his company GSR, shared it with Cambridge Analytica. Since then, there have been more revelations about both firms and about the way consumers’ data is used.