Facebook has banned two data analysis firms over what they claim are breaches of the terms and conditions. That may be entirely correct by the way – but it does all look rather dangerously political. For the two firms worked on what were not, to put it mildly, bien pensant and liberal (in the American sense) campaigns for Trump and in favour of Brexit. Leading to a certain wonder whether everyone else using the same data and the same T&Cs has been treated exactly the same.
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.
They worked for a flavour of the Leave campaign over Brexit too.
Although Kogan gained access to this information in a legitimate way and through the proper channels that governed all developers on Facebook at that time, he did not subsequently abide by our rules. By passing information on to a third party, including SCL/Cambridge Analytica and Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, he violated our platform policies. When we learned of this violation in 2015, we removed his app from Facebook and demanded certifications from Kogan and all parties he had given data to that the information had been destroyed. Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and Wylie all certified to us that they destroyed the data.
Breaking the Rules Leads to Suspension
Several days ago, we received reports that, contrary to the certifications we were given, not all data was deleted. We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims. If true, this is another unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments they made. We are suspending SCL/Cambridge Analytica, Wylie and Kogan from Facebook, pending further information.
Well, OK. After all, it is their gaff, their business, their rules.
But that’s exactly where this becomes ever so slightly troublesome. Because there are very loud cries from certain quarters that all of this needs to be regulated. The tech giants must be just because they’re giants, data must be because…..and so on. But those arguing for the regulating are largely those bien pensant and liberal in that American sense. As is near all politics within the giant tech companies as well. Which leads to the thought that OK, let us say that all of these things are as important as is said. Even that regulation must take place. And so, those of us who are not bien pensant and liberal, we want them to be writing all that regulation, do we?
Well, if it means that companies – rightly or wrongly this is an impression of what is happening – working for our side against the bien pensants cannot access this vitally important data then perhaps not, eh?