Data Management

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This question has been answered by 11 people and has an average rating of 3.44 (based on 9 ratings)

A recent controversy that has played out in global media was the issue of over 50 million Facebook users' personal data being collected and used by an analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, to build profiles on voters and then create advertisements targeted at these voters in the 2016 US Presidential campaign as well as the UK's Brexit referendum campaign. Essentially, a university lecturer, Aleksandr Kogan, had made an app called "thisisyourdigitallife" which would give personality predictions to users (who had given consent for the app's access to their Facebook profiles, locations, what they liked on the service, and their friends' data as well). However he would then go on to send this user data to Cambridge Analytica. 


A good article summarizing the issue can be read here:


Interestingly, on the weekend that the scandal first broke, Facebook's head of security, Alex Stamos, sent out a series of tweets that argued the media should not call the situation a "breach" or "one of the largest data leaks in the social network's history".


Based on the article and your own understanding of the situation, is this a case of a disastrous breach of sensitive data by Facebook?


The contributor suggests D is the correct option
Option Alternative First

Yes, as Facebook did not act to ensure that Cambridge Analytica and Aleksandr Kogan deleted the user data in question.

1 (9.09%)

0 (0.00%)


No, as when users give permission to a Facebook app to access their data, they give the developers full jurisdiction over what can be done with their information, including sharing it to other companies.

6 (54.55%)

0 (0.00%)


No, as user data was deidentified in Kogan's Facebook app and hence there is no way it could have been traced back to individual users - so it was not a case involving sensitive data.

1 (9.09%)

0 (0.00%)


Yes, as Facebook app developers are not allowed to share users' data without previously seeking their consent. 

3 (27.27%)

9 (100.00%)


The following explanation has been provided relating to this question:

Option A is incorrect since the article informs that Facebook did instruct both Cambridge Analytica and Aleksandr Kogan to delete the user data in question, but it is now being alleged that at the very least, Cambridge Analytica did not comply with Facebook's instructions.


Option B is incorrect as from the article: "The problem, Facebook says, is that Kogan then sent this user data to Cambridge Analytica without user permission, something that's against the social network's rules." The consent that users gave was only for the app to use the data to give personality predictions, and nothing further than that. This also leads to option D being correct.


Option C is incorrect as the data was not de-identified - this would have made the data entirely futile to Cambridge Analytica which was trying to create more personalized ad campaigns to target voters (i.e. the Facebook users whose data privacy had been breached). 


The following topics have been indicated as being relevant to this question:



There are 10 comments for this question (5 top-level comments and 5 replies) 
Written: 8:04pm, 18 AprAuthor has: 2314 points and 18 badges

This is a very good question because it involves a real lfe current situation which also incorporates the topics included in the module. The answers are very well thought and I found the question very interesting and easy to understand. It really shows that you have thought this throuh.

 Written: 9:01pm, 18 AprReply written by question author

Thankyou for your feedback!

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Written: 6:10pm, 18 AprAuthor has: 2366 points and 20 badges

Quite an interesting question, it's great that you used the Facebook scenario as it is something that's quite popular right now.

 Written: 9:01pm, 18 AprReply written by question author


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Written: 2:22am, 23 AprAuthor has: 1753 points and 18 badges

I read the CNET article... truly fascinating how broad the scope of 'data management' is. This was a good question, and all the possible answers merited careful reading and consideration.

 Written: 12:12pm, 23 AprReply written by question author


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Written: 9:40pm, 23 AprAuthor has: 2387 points and 15 badges

I agree that this is a very interesting question. I like how you included the Facebook topic which is highly relevant to understand. I think that the explanation was quite clear. 

 Written: 11:53pm, 23 AprReply written by question author


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Written: 12:37pm, 28 AprAuthor has: 1375 points and 12 badges

This in a excellent question that incorporates concepts of sensitive data to the real-life events. The alternatives you have used helped to make this question less trivial. The explanation provided is very clear and, directly addresses the question and the alternatives. 

 Written: 1:39pm, 28 AprReply written by question author

Thanks for the feedback!

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