Published: Tue, May 01, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Twitter confirms selling data to Cambridge academic; shares move up

Twitter confirms selling data to Cambridge academic; shares move up

One difference, however, is that Facebook allowed the company to collect data users would have expected to be available only to their Facebook friends; Twitter data is nearly all publicly available. Earlier in April, parliamentarians in the United Kingdom published evidence about Brexit campaign group Leave.EU benefiting from work done by the firm. His company, Global Science Research (GSR) got access to Tweets ranging from a period of December 2014 to April 2015.

Kogan tried to come clear of the allegations by claiming that he did not violate Twitter's policies and that the data was only used to create brand reports and survey extender tools. Facebook banned the UK-based political data analysis firm last month, saying it had improperly received as many as 87 million user profiles leaked from its service.

Kogan owns GSR, the Cambridge, U.K. -based company founded in 2014 with a goal "to optimize marketing strategies with the power of big data and psychological sciences", according to its website.

At the moment, we don't know what was the exact usage of the data obtained from Twitter.

Twitter stated in a statement that GSR accessed random sample of public tweets in the year 2015. Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.

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Although Twitter does not sell private direct messaging data, the company's "data licensing and other revenue" grew about 20% to $90 million in the first quarter. "We are different from our peers in that Twitter is public". In reality, that data was being given to Cambridge Analytica.

Twitter Inc's spokesperson said in an e-mail that an internal review conducted by it showed GSR had not accessed any private data. Twitter's public microblogs make the platform a major resource for data researchers.

Still, the stakes are high for Twitter and social-media companies in general as they grapple with data-protection policies.

Obviously, this doesn't have the same scope as the data harvested about users on Facebook.

"The idea that we stole the data, I think, is technically incorrect". Users agreed to take a personality test and have their data collected by the app, which then went on to also access information about the test-takers' Facebook friends, leading to the accumulation of a much larger data pool.

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