Facebook's 'proof' Cambridge Analytica deleted that data? A signature

CNET | 5/16/2018 | Alfred Ng
eymira (Posted by) Level 3
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Former director of research for Cambridge Analytica Christopher Wylie is sworn in before testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

For Facebook, a signature from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie was enough proof -- a decision that would come back to bite the social network.

Facebook - Cambridge - Analytica - People - Information

When Facebook learned about Cambridge Analytica buying 87 million people's profile information without user permission in 2015, the social network's executives said it requested the data be deleted. Facebook said that it received "certifications" that had happened, but now says it's learned the UK-based data profiling firm lied.

During a Senate Judiciary committee hearing on Wednesday, Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee and whistleblower who detailed the extent of the company's data collection in March, told senators what that certification entailed.

Wylie - Letter - Facebook - Data - Cambridge

Wylie said he received a letter in 2016 from Facebook, writing that they knew he still had data from Cambridge Analytica's harvesting program, and asked him to delete it.

"It requested that if I still had the data to delete it and sign a certification that I no longer had the data," Wylie said. "It did not require a notary or any sort of legal procedure. So I signed the certification and sent it back, and they accepted it."

Signature - Facebook - Wylie - Data - Millions

It appeared as simple as a signature for Facebook to determine that Wylie no longer had data on millions of people without their permission.

A Facebook spokesman confirmed Wylie's remarks, and said, "As we've said multiple times, we sought signed certifications from each of the parties that the data had been deleted."

Year - Facebook - Certifications - Requests - Company

More than a year after Facebook's signed certifications requests, the company's light standard of...
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