Mar 17, 2018

Facebook suspends Trump campaign's data analysis firm

Employees have lunch at Facebook's new headquarters. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP / Getty Images

Facebook has suspended Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) and its affiliate, data analysis and targeting firm Cambridge Analytica, for "violating our platform policies."

Why it matters, per Axios' Kim Hart: Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that worked with the Trump campaign leading up to the 2016 election, claimed to have developed personality profiles on every American — but it's unclear where that data came from. It has become a focus of both the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian election meddling and Robert Mueller’s probe.

  • Per Facebook, a University of Cambridge psychology professor named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan passed user information collected through an app that used Facebook Login to the organization.
  • While his data collection was "legitimate," he violated Facebook's policies by "passing information on to a third party." Facebook then "demanded certification from Kogan and all parties he had given data to that the information had been destroyed."
  • Facebook said it was told "several days ago" that not all of the data collected by Kogan had been destroyed, leading to the suspension of SCL/Cambridge Analytica, Kogan, and a third person who was given the data.
  • "We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims," said Facebook's Paul Grewal in a blog post that went live late Friday evening.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 737,929 — Total deaths: 35,019 — Total recoveries: 156,507.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,513 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Business updates: Americans are calm about their retirement savings despite coronavirus fallout.
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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BIG3 to create a hybrid reality show about quarantine basketball

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sports are on pause, and there's no timetable for their return. In the interim, leagues, teams and athletes are getting creative with ways to keep fans engaged.

The latest: A "quarantined reality show basketball tournament," courtesy of the BIG3, the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and his longtime business partner Jeff Kwatinetz.

Go deeperArrow20 mins ago - Sports

Trump on coronavirus misinformation from China: "Every country does it"

President Trump brushed aside allegations that China — as well as Russia and Iran — are spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus during a 64-minute call with "Fox & Friends" on Monday, telling the hosts that "every country does it."

Why it matters: Multiple verified Chinese government Twitter accounts have promoted different conspiracy theories, and Chinese foreign ministry deputy spokesperson Zhao Lijian suggested that the virus come from a U.S. military lab, Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian reports.

Go deeperArrow35 mins ago - World