The Great Hack: Man Demands For His Data From Cambridge Analytica After Privacy Violation

A Professor in the United States has been dominating the airwaves after demanding that a data mining and analysis company give his data back. As unusual as this move would seem, David Carroll took his first step after a revelation that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data from Facebook users among other online giants.

Cambridge has been reported to have a huge influence on Donald Trump’s 2016 election and the popular Brexit vote. Further investigations have gone further to reveal that Cambridge Analytica played a big role in African elections between the years 2016 and 2018.

Data Mining

As revealed on the ‘Great Hack’ a Netflix production Exploring how Cambridge Analytica came to symbolise the dark side of social media. The company had 5,000 data points on average per person, whether from Facebook, mobile applications or other online platforms, this information assisted in developing analytical tools that could identify the personalities of voters and influence their behavior.

The most common example is questions that often pop up on Facebook claiming to predict your future by giving a hint on the kind of partner you should have or even matching friends based personality. By answering these simple questions, Cambridge Analytica had access to all your friend’s information without their knowledge or even consent.

David Carroll

In accordance to the British Laws, users can request their own data if it has been processed in the UK. Even though the U.S. does not afford such data rights, Cambridge Analytica had processed the data in the UK, and Carroll believed he was entitled to it.

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In a two-year-long war in the courts, Caroll says that he is not motivated by political partisanship and that cleverly tailoring data, advertisement and search engine results show how companies have escalated and weaponised data for their gain. This he says is a danger to many online users whose information is being used actively to gain revenue.

A year ago, Carroll filed a legal claim against the London-based conglomerate, demanding to see what was in his profile. Even though he is American, he was determined to push all the right buttons just to ensure that he is given an ear. One of the reasons he opted to sue the international corporation is to show online users how powerless they are over their privacy.

After months of exposing the company with the help of insiders, the US professor received neatly arranged rows and columns showing exactly who Carroll is—where he lives, how he’s voted, and, most interestingly to Carroll, how much he cares about issues like the national debt, immigration, and gun rights, on a scale of one to 10.
Carroll’s concerns are still alive considering this is just a slice of his online information but for Cambridge, this is just what he needs to prove his case, therefore leaving him disadvantaged.

Despite getting less of what he bargained for, Carroll has influenced some decisions both in the US and UK governments, as well as social media companies. Strict data protection laws have been passed in some states as rules on data protection continue to change inside Facebook and its associate online companies.

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Amid his struggle to attain his data, Cambridge pleaded guilty, Facebook paid up a fine of $5 Million and as of now, Americans may be looking at better days when it comes to data protection.

Gathoni Kuria

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