The Paw Print

Social Media user data is stolen, collected, and used

Caitlin Deerwester, Page Design Editor

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Facebook’s data scandal has opened a conversation about privacy and the role data mining has in collecting the public’s information.
Aleksandr Kogan is the data scientist who created a personality quiz on Facebook to harvest 87 million accounts for information to Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that uses data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis.
CNN reported Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, was questioned about the data leaks for five hours by over 100 congress members.
“To that end, Zuckerberg will lay out a series of steps the company is taking to safeguard data,” reported CNN. “That includes investigating every third-party app with access to user information and making it easier for users to see which apps have access to their data.”
The scandal has lead people to question the way social media companies (not just Facebook) collect and use data, the New York Times wrote.
“Like Facebook, Google collects vast amount of data on users — including their YouTube choices, internet searches and location history — to target advertisements,” covered the New York Times on April 13.
During the hearing with Facebook, senators called on Twitter and Google to support their proposed privacy bill. So far Google has not responded, while Twitter quickly gave an endorsement, the New York Times reported, April 23.
Kogan also attended a hearing about the data to Britain lawmakers defending his research, claiming that Facebook gives out user information to researchers too willingly, Business Insider recounted.
Zuckerberg claims that Kogan violated their agreement due to selling the data to Cambridge Analytica.
“Kogan called this ‘PR spin’ and argued that he behaved more responsibly that other Facebook partners,” reported Business Insider on April 24.
The data these companies collect is sold to advertising companies to target ads to specific groups of people, described the Atlantic on April 3.
“Data mining allows companies and governments to use the information you provide to reveal more than you think,” the Atlantic detailed.

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Social Media user data is stolen, collected, and used