Inc. sold data access to the Cambridge
University academic who also obtained millions of Facebook
Inc. users’ information that was later
passed to a political consulting firm without the users’ consent.
Kogan, who created a personality quiz on Facebook to harvest
information later used by Cambridge
Analytica, established his own commercial enterprise, Global
Science Research (GSR). That firm was granted access to large-scale
public Twitter data, covering months of posts, for one day in 2015,
according to Twitter.
2015, GSR did have one-time API access to a random sample of public
tweets from a five-month period from December 2014 to April 2015,”
Twitter said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Based on the recent
reports, we conducted our own internal review and did not find any
access to private data about people who use Twitter.”
company has removed Cambridge Analytica and affiliated entities as
advertisers. Twitter said GSR paid for the access; it provided no
provides certain companies, developers and users with access to
public data through its application programming interfaces (APIs),
or software that requests and delivers information. The company
sells the data to organizations, which often use them to analyze
events, sentiment or customer service.
customers are given the broadest data access, which includes the
last 30 days of tweets or access to tweets from as far back as 2006.
To get that access, the customers must explain how they plan to use
the data, and who the end users will be.
doesn’t sell private direct messaging data, and users must opt in to
have their tweets include a location. Twitter’s “data licensing and
other revenue” grew about 20 percent, to $90 million, in the first
media companies have come under intense scrutiny over reports that
Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users. Companies like
Twitter tend to have access to less private information than
Facebook. The latter has said that Cambridge Analytica, which worked
for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, may have harvested data
on 87 million users.
270,000 people downloaded Kogan’s personality quiz app, which shared
information the people and their friends that was then improperly
passed to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark
Zuckerberg has testified in front of Congress about the misuse of
data, and lawmakers have called on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and
Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify as well.
of Twitter’s failure to prevent misinformation and abuse on its
platform has risen since the 2016 election. In the first quarter,
the company removed more than 142,000 applications connected to the
Twitter API that was collectively responsible for more than 130
million “low-quality” tweets during the period. The company has also
limited the ability of users to perform coordinated actions across
LP produces TicToc, a global breaking news network for the Twitter