Summary of The Cambridge Analytica Con

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When a whistleblower outed Cambridge Analytica for the inappropriate use of Facebook profile information for the purpose of influencing US elections, people around the world were understandably outraged. But, as author Yasha Levine explains in his analysis of the situation for The Baffler, this was a symptom of much deeper privacy concerns that involve the biggest tech companies in the world. getAbstract recommends this sprawling article to anyone interested in learning the truth behind personal privacy in the era of big data.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the outrage over Cambridge Analytica’s use of personal data is misplaced and lacks context;
  • How modern tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook have built on business models developed in the middle of the 20th century, often by military contractors; and
  • What the Cambridge Analytica situation means for the future of big data and data privacy.
 

About the Author

Yasha Levine is a former editor of The eXile, a Moscow newspaper, and is currently an investigative journalist for The Baffler and other websites.

 

Summary

When news broke that British election data firm Cambridge Analytica may have accessed millions of Facebook profiles and used that information to help shape the 2016 US presidential vote, pundits and consumers alike were predictably outraged. In an era of nearly daily massive data breaches and growing concerns around privacy in general, it is appropriate that media outlets shine a spotlight on companies that violate the public trust. In order to truly understand what happened with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, that scrutiny needs to dig deeper than just two companies.


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