Kogan Sorry For Cambridge Analytica Facebook Scandal

Researcher Aleksandr Kogan who's at the center of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal is sorry for the ordeal, the data scientists said in an interview on CBS show 60 Minutes, having added that he was still surprised to learn that the social media network's users were largely unaware that the company and developers behind third-party Facebook apps are harvesting their data and using it for advertising. Mr. Kogan acknowledged his initial assumption that users were aware how free services make money was wrong, stating that what happened in 2014 "was not right and was not wise" even though he first thought what he's doing is nothing out of the ordinary as far as Facebook developer practices are concerned.

Four years ago, the researcher in question developed an online personality quiz which people were able to access by logging into it with their Facebook accounts, with some 270,000 users choosing to do so. The app mined both their data and information about their friends, having thus violated the privacy of up to 87 million people, according to Facebook's own estimates. Mr. Kogan ended up selling the data to American political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica which was accused of leveraging it to fight an information war on behalf of the Trump campaign in 2016 but has repeatedly denied that notion, claiming it deleted the data a year after obtaining it, i.e. when Facebook changed its terms of use to prevent app developers from sharing Facebook data they collect with third parties.

Facebook is now considering suing Mr. Kogan over the matter, its Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg revealed during a congressional testimony earlier this month. The controversy itself is likely to have far-reaching consequences for both the world's largest social media network and other digital companies in the country, as well as other parts of the world, many industry watchers agree. U.S. lawmakers still don't have a firm plan for regulating the Silicon Valley's data collection practices but are expected to make some concrete moves on that front in the coming months.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]