Facebook App “thisisyourdigitallife” Collects User Data For Voter Profiling
If you downloaded the app “thisisyourdigitallife” in 2015 or were a Facebook friend of someone who did, you may have a legal claim. The app, which purported to offer a personality prediction in the form of “a research app used by psychologists”, allegedly collected personal profile information in violation of Facebook’s data privacy policies to attempt to sway voters in the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
WHAT IS THIS LEGAL INVESTIGATION ABOUT?
On March 17, 2018, the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica, a startup voter-profiling company, had improperly obtained the personal profile data of more than 50 million Facebook users through app “thisisyourdigitallife”. The company then allegedly used that data to target articles and advertisements to voters who may or may not be backing Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Interviews with several Cambridge Analytica employees and contractors supported the allegations and said that the company was still in possession of the data at the time of the writing on March 17th.
One former employee of Cambridge said, “rules don’t matter for them, this is a war, and it’s all fair. They want to fight a culture war in America. Cambridge Analytica was supposed to be the arsenal of weapons to fight that culture war.”
The New York Times published one such political advertisement used in the 2016 presidential campaign supporting Trump, below:
FACEBOOK ADMITS MISTAKE
In a Facebook post by a company vice president Andrew Bosworth, he wrote “we thought that every app could be social. Your calendar should have your events and your friends birthdays, your maps should know where your friends live, your address book should show their pictures. It was a reasonable vision but it didn’t materialize the way we had hoped.”
Can Duruk, a technology consultant and software engineer, questioned Facebook’s permissiveness of data collection and the ramifications of Facebook’s loose policies, “it seems insane that you can make haphazard decisions about so many people’s data” and called Facebook policies “extremely lax with what kind of data they allowed people to get.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called it a “major breach of trust” and said he was “sorry that happened” in a CNN interview, here.
Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman LLP is standing by, waiting to assist
Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman LLP is working with the law firm Sanders Phillips Grossman in investigating potential claims for current and former Facebook users whose data may have been harvested through “thisisyourdigitallife” app.
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