Were YOUR details ‘harvested’ from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica?

This is not turning out to be a good year for Facebook.

First the social media platform decided to dictate to users whose status updates they can see, and when – and lost a huge amount of hits.

Now it has been revealed that the organisation allowed a data analytics firm to “harvest” data from millions of Facebook profiles, which were then used to build a campaign to influence voters’ choices.


Cambridge Analytica worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the Leave campaign in the EU referendum.

The company used information provided by psychologist Aleksandr Kogan, who paid members of the public to carry out a survey on a dedicated app – which then recorded not only their responses but every piece of information on them held by Facebook – and every piece of information about their Facebook friends as well.

All of this was allowed by Facebook, according to the companies rules.

It was only when Dr Kogan passed the information on to Cambridge Analytica that he broke the rules – passing it on to a third party is forbidden by FB.

It turns out that Facebook discovered the breach in 2015 and demanded that all the data that had been harvested should be destroyed.

It wasn’t.

Facebook revealed two days ago, it had discovered that not all the data had been deleted. In fact, from the press release, it seems the organisation has no idea whether any of the information was trashed.

According to Christopher Wylie of Cambridge Analytica, information on 50 million users was then used to build campaigns to influence the way people voted in – apparently – the US Presidential election at the end of 2016 and the EU referendum in June that year.

This has huge implications for internet privacy – and for democracy.

The information was harvested from the vast majority of Facebook users without their knowledge – but Facebook reckons this was entirely permissible because of the way they had arranged their privacy settings. Do you bother overmuch about your privacy settings? If not, perhaps you should start.

And the fact that it was used to affect the way people voted in the polls that lumbered the United States with Donald Trump and the United Kingdom with Brexit shows that what Cambridge Analytica did has the potential to be hugely harmful to large numbers of people.

Facebook is desperately protesting that it has improved its systems to preven any future breach – of its policies.

But it seems that your information is in just as much danger as before. Remember, Facebook itself employs users’ information to make a profit for itself.

What are you going to do about it?


The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.

A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.

Christopher Wylie, who worked with a Cambridge University academic to obtain the data, told the Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”

Documents seen by the Observer, and confirmed by a Facebook statement, show that by late 2015 the company had found out that information had been harvested on an unprecedented scale. However, at the time it failed to alert users and took only limited steps to recover and secure the private information of more than 50 million individuals.

Source: Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach | News | The Guardian

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


7 thoughts on “Were YOUR details ‘harvested’ from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica?

  1. aunty1960

    Not surprised, that is what it was built for, not to help and aid international peace harmony or friendship (as much chance as the average under 5s playground) but to monitor and watch peoples views and actions throughout the world and analyse for possible threats danger and commercial use.

    Nothing Free comes for free.

    But they are truly terrible showing once again American Intelligence is an Oxymoron

    I have different profiles and while on one profile I see my other profile scrolling past saying I am enjoying playing an online game (never have doneI am dinosaur granny who has not and does not play virtual computer games) or I am liking a product I would never touch.

    Facebook is a Farce

    I dont believe Zuckerberg I think they have pensioned him off and he is having a nice life while other interests run the show and ideas. and scrutiny and interference in members lives and groups.

  2. The Toffee


    Along with the toerags, trump, jeremy kyle and and dumbed-down ‘reality tv shows’ masquerading as ‘entertainment’, another reason why society is bo**oxed.

    They’ve never had my details and will NEVER get them because I won’t sign up. I find everything about it – from the odious zuckerberg to crap like the ‘ice bucket challenge’ fads to neo-liberal Govt assistance including censorship of left leaning blogs (This included), data harvesting & making a profit from anything & everything, to every tale of bullying, or other anti social garbage – it really does boil my p***

    Sorry for language – but it does.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No worries about the language – you’ve self-censored. I wish certain other people would!

  3. The Toffee

    Oh that was meant to read: – jeremy kyle and dumbed-down ‘reality tv shows’ masquerading as ‘entertainment’

  4. ory


Comments are closed.