The London-based analytics firm has only further complicated Facebook’s role in the 2016 US election by misusing the data of as many as 50 million users.
The data was obtained by Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan and given to the affiliated behavior research firm Strategic Communication Laboratories in a violation of Facebook’s terms of service. The actions of the firm, which denies any wrongdoing, has kicked up a massive debate over Facebook’s failures to police its platform and its responsibility to both user privacy and the institution of democracy itself.
The most popular thing happening in technucal right now is Facebook. The information coming from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie have been quite damaging for the world’s biggest social network. Facebook is now formal investigations in the Europe and US, the stock is plummeting, and Mark Zuckerberg is in hiding.
On the twitter There is a #DeleteFacebook hashtag being trending, as more users delete their Facebook accounts in response to the huge user privacy breach exposed by Wylie. Brian Acton, WhatsApp co-founder, Facebook-made billionaire, and now Signal investor, is also supporting to delete facebook.
Facebook bought WhatsApp In 2014 for $16 billion, making its co-founders — Jan Koum and Brian Acton — very wealthy men. Koum continues to lead the company, but Acton leave earlier this year to started his own foundation. And he is not done only with WhatsApp — in a post on Twitter today, Acton said his followers to delete facebook account.
The tweet came after a bruising 5-day period for Facebook that has seen regulators swarm and its stock price plunge following concerns over data privacy in the wake of revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of user data.
Acton left Yahoo before he co-founded WhatsApp in 2009. Facebook a few years ago acquired the popular chat app in a deal worth north of $19 billion. As a result, Acton himself became a billionaire and only terminated his WhatsApp employment last fall.
Acton recently made the news for investing $50 million of his own money into Signal, the encrypted chat app whose technology is also used in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other apps who offer end-to-end encryption.
While Acton’s stance on Facebook is definitely notable in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is also somewhat hypocritical. Acton’s WhatsApp promised to never share data with Facebook once the purchase was complete. But that turned out to be a lie, Facebook does want WhatsApp user data and went for it soon after the acquisition was done, prompting a series of investigations on the matter. Acton was still at the company when all that happened.