Paul Lewis and Julia Carrie Wong
Originally published March 18, 2018
Here are two excerpts:
The co-director of a company that harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users before selling it to the controversial data analytics firms Cambridge Analytica is currently working for the tech giant as an in-house psychologist.
Joseph Chancellor was one of two founding directors of Global Science Research (GSR), the company that harvested Facebook data using a personality app under the guise of academic research and later shared the data with Cambridge Analytica.
He was hired to work at Facebook as a quantitative social psychologist around November 2015, roughly two months after leaving GSR, which had by then acquired data on millions of Facebook users.
Chancellor is still working as a researcher at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters in California, where psychologists frequently conduct research and experiments using the company’s vast trove of data on more than 2 billion users.
In the months that followed the creation of GSR, the company worked in collaboration with Cambridge Analytica to pay hundreds of thousands of users to take the test as part of an agreement in which they agreed for their data to be collected for academic use.
However, the app also collected the information of the test-takers’ Facebook friends, leading to the accumulation of a data pool tens of millions strong.
That data sold to Cambridge Analytica as part of a commercial agreement.
Facebook’s “platform policy” allowed only collection of friends’ data to improve user experience in the app and barred it being sold on or used for advertising.
The information is here.