How Cambridge Analytica got Facebook user data
In 2014, Wylie met Aleksandr Kogan at Cambridge University. Kogan offers the fastest, cheapest, and qualified way to harvest Facebook user data.
To Wylie, he claimed to have an application called “thisisyourdigitallife” on Facebook. This application can provide special access, not just from the user’s data in the application, but also the network of friends of the application users.
“Simply, if you use the application, I will not only be able to see your profile only, but also your Facebook friends”, Wylie said as quoted KompasTekno from The Guardian, Friday (23/3/2018).
Kogan is known to send e-mail to Wylie about the personal characteristics of Facebook users that can be predicted through the application.
Applications made by Global Science Research where Kogan works, is often presenting a survey of personality that spread on Facebook. Users of this app unconsciously voluntarily submit their personal data, what they like, where they live, and who their friends are.
In fact, Wylie said, the application can be pushed to a private message on Facebook although he did not know whether Cambridge Analytica also access private messages or not.
“We just need to touch hundreds of thousands of accounts of people, then spread it more widely to all regions of the US”, said Wylie.
Indeed, Kogan application is only downloaded 270,000 Facebook users, but the impact up to tens of millions of user data. Wylie added it only takes two to three months to harvest 50-60 million user data.