Cambridge Analytica data-raid: the number is "much greater than 87 million"

Brittany Kaiser is an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee who gave written testimony and answered questions at the UK Parliament this week in which she revealed that the Facebook apps that Cambridge Analytica used to covertly gain access to millions of users' data went far beyond the ones disclosed to date, and that the number of total users implicated is "much greater than 87 million."

The apps posed as innocuous quizzes, and to take them, users had to grant a laundry-list of permissions to access their Facebook data; buried in that list was permission to access the data of all the user's Facebook friends. This permission wasn't just hidden in a long list, it was also obscurely presented.

Kaiser testified that in her duties as a business development employee at Cambridge Analytica, she made sales pitches to potential clients in which she was instructed to boast of a much wider range of deceptive quizzes, including a "sex compass" and a quiz to determine "your music personality."

I should emphasise that the Kogan/GSR datasets and questionnaires were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica used. I am aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners, usually with a Facebook login – for example, the “sex compass” quiz. I do not know the specifics of these surveys or how the data was acquired or processed. But I believe it is almost certain that the number of Facebook users whose data was compromised through routes similar to that used by Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities.

Former Cambridge Analytica employee says Facebook users affected could be ‘much greater than 87 million’ [Colin Lecher/The Verge]

Written testimony to the Fake News Inquiry [Brittany Kaiser/UK Parliament]

(Image: Thomas Hawk, CC-BY-SA)