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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

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.