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How the Cambridge Analytica scandal could harm data research efforts from Facebook Data

CyberWisdom Safe Harbor Commentary on Facebook data

A must-read story from thenextweb.com reviews an interesting article.

According to Cambridge Analysis, according to the 500,000 Facebook data collected by British academic institutions and his company, this is a worrying development for legitimate researchers.

Political data analysis company Cambridge Analytical Corp. – affiliated with the Strategic Communications Laboratory (SCL) – reportedly uses Facebook data after handing over from Aleksandr Kogan, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Cambridge.

Kogan, through his company Global Science Research (GSR) – separate from his university work – collected data for a personality test application called “thisisyourdigitallife”. In 2014, approximately 270,000 U.S. Facebook users responded voluntarily to this test. However, the application has also collected the data of these participants’ Facebook friends without their consent.

This may be due to the fact that Facebook rules at the time allowed third-party applications to collect data about Facebook users’ friends. Companies run by Mark Zuckerberg have changed their policies to prevent such visits by developers.

Christopher Wylie, a former contractor at Cambridge Analytics, told the Guardian that the company used the data to target American voters before the 2016 President Donald Trump victory. He claims that Cambridge Analytics is a “full-service propaganda machine.”

Cambridge Analysts has denied any misconduct and stated that the business strategy it uses is widely circulated among other companies. For him, Kogan insisted that he had always followed the law – and also stated that according to CNN, he would be happy to testify before the US Congress and talk about the work he did for the company with the FBI. .

Facebook said on March 18 that it had suspended SCL, claiming that Kogan “deceived us and violated our platform policy by passing data from applications logged on using Facebook to SCL/Cambridge Analytica”. Facebook’s third-party policy on its platform stipulates that developers do not have the right “to transfer any data we receive (including anonymized, aggregated or derived data) to any ad networks, data brokers or other advertising or monetization-related services. ”

The day after the Cambridge Analytica scandal occurred, Facebook’s share price on Wall Street plummeted due to privacy issues. But will the incident affect legitimate academic research?

Enlightenment
Social media data provides a rich source of information for many areas of psychology, technology, business, and the humanities. Some recent examples include the use of Facebook to predict riots, comparing Facebook’s use with teenage girls’ body image problems, and investigating whether Facebook can reduce the level of stress responses. Research shows that it may enhance and undermine welfare-related psychosocial issues. Structure, there is.

I believe that researchers and their employers attach importance to research integrity is correct. However, an example of leakage of trust by a scholar – even if the data for university research purposes – is not caught in the crossfire – will also have a negative impact on whether the participant will continue to trust the researcher. It is also of primary importance to research management and the sharing of data between companies and researchers.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not commented on the Cambridge analysis data collection scandal. Shutterstock
Universities, research institutes, and funders use strict and rigorous ethics procedures to manage the integrity of research to protect the use of research participants, such as social media data. Collection of data without user consent is considered unethical under commonly understood research standards.

The consequences of the Cambridge Analytica dispute are of great potential for researchers who rely on social networks for research. The researchers regularly share data with them for research purposes. Technology companies may become more reluctant to share data with researchers. Facebook has been very protective of its data – the worry is that, according to the Cambridge Analysis Company, researchers may have difficulty obtaining this information legally.

data analysis
Obviously, it is not just researchers who use profile data to better understand people’s behavior patterns. Marketing organizations have been analyzing consumers for decades – if they understand their customers, they will understand the triggers that prompted them to purchase products, enabling them to adjust marketing information to improve sales. Digital marketing is getting easier and easier – people keep track of it online, and their activities use data analysis tools for analysis and personal advice. These methods are the core of the business strategy of tech giants such as Amazon and Netflix.

Information from online behavior can be used to predict people’s mood, emotions and personality. My own research on the smart tutoring system uses the interaction between the learner and the software to describe the personality type so that it can automatically adapt tutoring to one’s preference style. Machine learning technology can combine psychology theory with new patterns of discovery (such as Facebook “likes”) to analyze users.

Eli Pariser is CEO of Upworthy, a viral content site that has opposed personalization tools since 2011. He warned of the dangers of filtering information, and believes that using algorithms – to show users information to show them personalized information tastes – is not good for democracy.

Although these concerns seem to have been confirmed by some of the allegations made by Cambridge Analyst, it is worth noting that because of Cambridge Analytical’s psychometric tools, there is no evidence that the US vote was turned to favor Trump.

However, in view of his academic status, Kogan’s apparent decision to transfer Facebook data into a commercial purpose that violates social networking policies may have explosive consequences, not least because researchers may find it more difficult for Facebook and its users to agree to separate submissions. Data are studied.

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The scandal that has erupted around Cambridge Analytica’s alleged harvesting of 50m Facebook profiles assembled from data provided by a UK-based academic and his company is a worrying development for legitimate researchers. Political data analytics company Cambridge Analytica – which is affiliated with Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) – reportedly used Facebook data, after it was handed over by Aleksandr Kogan, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s department of psychology. Kogan, through his company Global Science Research (GSR) – separate from his university work – gleaned the data from a personality test app named “thisisyourdigitallife”. Roughly 270,000 US-based Facebook users… This story continues at The Next Web… Engaging post, Read More…

thumbnail courtesy of thenextweb.com

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