21 Mar 2018

The Facebook, Cambridge Analytica saga, explained

From Morning Report, 7:27 am on 21 March 2018

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been asked to appear before British MPs who are probing the misuse of users' private data to help swing elections. The request comes after Britain's Information Commissioner said she was seeking a warrant to search the premises of political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica is accused of using the data harvested illicitly from 50 million Facebook users to influence the United States presidential election in 2016. Christopher Wylie is a whistleblower who used to work at Cambridge Analytica. He says he worked with an academic to obtain the information using an online personality test in 2015. That was then used to build a profiling system of voters to target them with personalised political ads. Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform. Dr Martin Moore is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King's College London. He tells Morning Report that while the warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's servers and the request for Mr Zuckerberg to appear before MPs are important developments.