Cambridge Analytica was suspended after the social network received reports that the company did not delete consumer data as promised.
Facebook is suspending a data analysis company that rose to prominence for its work on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and which has been accused of having a shadowy influence on British voters.
The social network announced the suspension of Cambridge Analytica on Friday, saying it received reports that the company had not deleted data it received from an app developer, despite saying it had done so. The data was given to the company by Aleksandr Kogan, a professor at Cambridge who legitimately gained access to Facebook users’ personal data, but then broke the rules by passing it along to a third party.
At the time in 2015, Facebook said it removed Kogan’s app and demanded certifications from him and all parties he had given data to that the information had been destroyed. Cambridge Analytica and Kogan, as well as a third vendor, Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, all certified that they had destroyed the data, Facebook said.
The suspension Friday was put in place to investigate the claims to the contrary.
“We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims,” Facebook’s vice president and deputy general counsel, Paul Grewal, said in a statement. “If true, this is another unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments they made.”
Cambridge Analytica worked for Ted Cruz’s campaign in 2015, then for Trump in 2016. The company says it uses a method called “psychographic” profiling to understand behavior, and the company’s CEO has boasted that it “profiled the personality of every adult in the United States of America — 220 million people.” It insists it played an instrumental role Trump’s ultimately successful bid for the presidency.
Facebook *TOTES* cares about your privacy you guys!