Twitter Inc. sold data access to the Cambridge University academic

Twitter Inc. sold data access to the Cambridge University academic who also obtained millions of information about Facebook Inc. users who were then referred to a policy consulting firm without the consent of the users.

Twitter Inc. sold data access to the Cambridge University academic


Aleksandr Kogan, who created a personality quiz on Facebook to collect information later used by Cambridge Analytica, has created his own business venture, Global Science Research (GSR). According to Twitter, this firm had access to large-scale public Twitter data, covering months of messages, for a day in 2015.

"In 2015, GSR had unique API access to a random sample of public tweets from a five-month period, from December 2014 to April 2015," Twitter said in a statement to Bloomberg. "Based on recent reports, we conducted our own internal review and found no access to private data about people using Twitter."

The company has removed Cambridge Analytica and its affiliated entities as advertisers. Twitter said that GSR paid for access; he did not provide any other details.

Necessary explanations

Twitter provides companies, developers, and users with access to public data through its application programming interfaces (APIs) or software that requests and provides information. The company sells the data to organizations that often use it to analyze events, feelings, or customer services.

Enterprise customers have the widest possible data access, which includes the last 30 days of tweets or tweets since 2006. To gain access, customers need to explain how they plan to use the data. data and who the end users are. will be.

Twitter does not sell private messaging data and users must choose to include their placements in a tweet. Twitter's "Data Licensing and Other Income" rose about 20 percent, to $ 90 million, in the first quarter.

Social media companies have been subjected to a scrutiny of information that Facebook has not protected the privacy of its users. Companies like Twitter tend to have access to less private information than Facebook. He said Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, may have collected data on 87 million users.

Questionnaire on the personality

About 270,000 people downloaded Kogan's personality quiz app, which shared information from people and their friends who were then incorrectly passed to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, testified before Congress on misuse of data, and lawmakers also called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify.

Criticisms of Twitter's inability to prevent misinformation and abuse on its platform have increased since the 2016 elections. In the first quarter, the company removed more than 142,000 applications connected to the Twitter API which was collectively responsible for more than 130 million tweets "of poor quality" during the period. The company has also limited the ability of users to perform coordinated actions across multiple accounts.

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