Facebook was aware of concerns around Cambridge Analytica’s improper data gathering practices months before public reports

Load web pages faster. Stay private. Block ads. Get Brave For Free

Facebook just cannot seem to get a break – the social media giant's woes keep piling up on all fronts, not least as a consequences of its own policies and decisions – but also because of matters out of its real-time control, such as last week's mass shooting in New Zealand, which happened to be streamed live on the platform.

Seemingly adding insult to injury on the former front, Britain's Guardian newspaper writes this week on its website – expanding on a prior original reporting regarding “improper data-gathering practices” in the Cambridge Analytica case – that Facebook employees may have known that the political consultancy in question had obtained “data on millions from an academic” well before the newspaper first reported about it.

The data of as many as 87 million people had been extracted from Facebook by GSR – a company by former Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan – to then be sent to Cambridge Analytica's SCL. And while the initial practice of data gathering did not breach Facebook's rules – it has been deemed as being “highly controversial,” the report said.

But sending data from GSR to SCl happened against the social media giant's rules – a point Facebook has been arguing for a long time.

According to company emails now made public, Facebook not only knew about Cambridge Analytica's data harvesting months ahead of the media reports first revealing it – but these emails by staffers now contradict Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's sworn testimony.

Start and monetize your own website:
In 30 minutes or less. Build your part of the internet. Today: Free domain name for Reclaim readers. Learn how.

But Facebook spokesperson has “clarified after publication that there may have been two separate instances of data misuse by Cambridge Analytica,” the Guardian writes.

“The data-scraping referenced in the filing was not the same data harvesting that has become synonymous with Cambridge Analytica's name over the past year,” Facebook's official representative is quoted as saying.

The news stems from the Washington DC attorney general's filing, that was to confront the District of Columbia in court on Friday with a judge deciding on whether to dismiss the lawsuit, or keep the email exchange sealed.

And while Facebook issued a statement denying in the strongest terms that “it mislead anyone absolutely the timeline” – the Guardian is reporting that this timeline has been “complicated” for a long time – and involving now defunct political consultancy Cambridge Analytica and its alleged data misuse.

Use The Fastest Browser That Doesn’t Track You

Blocks ads. Blocks tracking. Keeps you and your data private. Free and open source. Up to 8 times faster page loads than Chrome and Safari. Join the Brave revolution today.

Use Brave To Browse The Web Faster, In Private

Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovich is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovich is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected]