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(Reuters) – Facebook Inc on Friday said it was suspending political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, after finding data privacy policies had been violated.
Facebook said in a statement that it suspended Cambridge Analytica and its parent group Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) after receiving reports that they did not delete information about Facebook users that had been inappropriately shared.
Cambridge Analytica was not immediately available for comment. Facebook did not mention the Trump campaign or any political campaigns in its statement, attributed to company Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal.
“We will take legal action if necessary to hold them responsible and accountable for any unlawful behavior,” Facebook said, adding that it was continuing to investigate the claims.
Cambridge Analytica worked for the failed presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and then for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. On its website, it says it “provided the Donald J. Trump for President campaign with the expertise and insights that helped win the White House”.
Brad Parscale, who ran Trump’s digital ad operation in 2016 and is his 2020 campaign manager, declined to comment on Friday.
In past interviews with Reuters, Parscale has said that Cambridge Analytica played a minor role as a contractor in the 2016 Trump campaign, and that the campaign used voter data from a Republican-affiliated organization rather than Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook’s Grewal said the company was taking the unusual step of announcing the suspension “given the public prominence” of Cambridge Analytica and its parent organization.
The suspension means Cambridge Analytica and SCL cannot buy ads on the world’s largest social media network or administer pages belonging to clients, Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook vice president, said in a Twitter post.
Trump’s campaign hired Cambridge Analytica in June 2016 and paid it more than $ 6.2 million, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Cambridge Analytica says it uses “behavioral microtargeting”, or combining analysis of people’s personalities with demographics, to predict and influence mass behavior. It says it has data on 220 million Americans, two thirds of the U.S. population.
It has worked on other campaigns in the United States and other countries, and it is funded by Robert Mercer, a prominent supporter of politically conservative groups.
Facebook in its statement described a rocky relationship with Cambridge Analytica and two individuals going back to 2015.
That year, Facebook said, it learned that University of Cambridge professor Aleksandr Kogan lied to the company and violated its policies by sharing data that he acquired with a so-called “research app” that used Facebook’s login system.
Kogan was not immediately available for comment.
The app was downloaded by about 270,000 people. Facebook said that Kogan gained access to profile and other information “in a legitimate way” but “he did not subsequently abide by our rules” when he passed the data to SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies. (bit.ly/2FZU1Ir)
Eunoia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Facebook said it cut ties to Kogan’s app when it learned of the violation in 2015, and asked for certification from Kogan and all parties he had given data to that the information had been destroyed.
Although all certified that they had destroyed the data, Facebook said that it received reports in the past several days that “not all data was deleted”, prompting the suspension announced on Friday.
Additional Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Weber, Leslie Adler and Joseph Radford
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A coalition of supporters of self-driving cars said on Tuesday that it will run ads this week in social media and Washington newspapers, in an effort to convince the U.S. Congress to adopt sweeping legislation to boost the nascent industry.
The ads are being placed by the Coalition for Future Mobility, which was formed in July by trade groups representing major automakers, along with other advocates for self-driving cars, as Congress began serious consideration of bills relating to autonomous vehicles.
They want the Senate to pass a bill that would speed up the use of self-driving cars by easing safety regulations, and bar states from blocking such vehicles. The House of Representatives has already unanimously approved a bill.
The Senate is considering a similar draft measure, but is divided over whether to include large commercial trucks, a dispute that could prevent the bill from winning approval this year.
The House measure, which only applies to vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg), would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually.
As part of the campaign, major automakers will be contacting their employees and retirees, asking them to reach out to their members of Congress, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said.
The coalition launched a website and will use targeted Facebook advertising, focusing on groups who could benefit from autonomous vehicles, such as disabled veterans.
One of the print ads seen by Reuters features a man dressed in military fatigues sitting in a wheelchair. The ad says: “He fought for our freedom. Let’s give him back his.” That “will only become a reality if Congress acts,” the ad says.
The coalition includes trade groups representing automakers General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), as well as organizations including ride sharing firm Lyft Inc, the Telecommunications Industry Association, the American Council of the Blind and a drone industry group.
Senate aides have been negotiating in recent days but have not reached agreement. A Senate panel could take up the issue at an Oct. 4 hearing, aides say.
Auto industry leaders say 3 million commercial truck jobs could eventually be at risk if self-driving vehicles replaced human drivers.
Self-driving proponents say 94 percent of U.S. car crashes are the result of human error and argue self-driving cars could dramatically cut the 35,000 annual road deaths.
Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) acknowledged that its site went down on Monday after it was hit by multiple distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks after TV anchor John Oliver blasted the agency on his show over its move to repeal net neutrality rules in the country. The timing here is crucial, as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has already announced plans to reverse the principles currently in place, and the agency is set to vote on his proposal on May 18. While the recent episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight saw Oliver urge viewers to head to gofccyourself.com and…
This story continues at The Next Web
This article is part of SWOT Team, a series on Mashable that features insights from leaders in marketing, brand-building and public relations.
The rise of social media has given consumers more power than ever before, arming them with a platform where they can engage brands in real time. This has created a shift in marketing. While traditional tactics involved pushing out brand content with little focus on creating conversations, new campaigns tap influencers to engage with consumers and create brand loyalty among them.
In spite of the positives, the rise of influencer marketing has also led to many questions, like how to select the right influencer agency or measure ROI. Here are the five most important things to know before you begin your first influencer campaign Read more…