Obama staffer admits Trump data firm suspended for doing exactly what they did

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A staffer who worked on former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign said Facebook allowed them unfettered access to the data programs being criticized today.

Carol Davidsen, who served as Obama’s director for media analytics at the time, said Facebook representatives allowed the campaign to harvest data on millions of users because the social media giant was “on our side.”

On Sunday, Davidsen fired off a series of tweets in response to Facebook suspending Strategic Communication Laboratories and Cambridge Analytica for what the social site claims was an improper use of collected data.

Davidsen admitted Kogan and Cambridge Analytica were suspended for collecting data to target and identify potential voters.

But she admitted Obama’s campaign was never punished by Facebook because the social media site supported the former president.

Davidsen said Facebook was “surprised” the Obama campaign was able to “suck out the entire social graph,” but did nothing to prevent them from doing so after they became aware of what they were doing.

Davidsen also shared a link to a work shop she gave in 2015, where she explained how Facebook’s privacy policies in 2012 allowed the campaign to collect data on tens of millions of Americans.

She admitted it gave Democrats a huge advantage, and even bragged that Republicans weren’t even aware of the Facebook feature before it was shut off.

“The privacy policies on Facebook were … if they opted in, they could tell us who all their friends were. So they told us who all their friends were…We were actually able to ingest the entire social network of the U.S. that’s on Facebook, which is most people,” Davidsen said.

She added: “The Republicans never built an app to do that. So the data’s out there — you can’t take it back. The Democrats have this information, so when they look at a voter file and someone comes to them, they can immediately be like ‘Oh, here are all the other people that they know, and here are people they can help us persuade, because they’re really good friends with that person.’”

Watch her talk below:

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Davidsen said the Obama campaign used the data they collected on millions to target potential voters through their friend networks, which allowed them to motivate people to vote for Obama.

Cambridge Analytica has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, claiming it used public data just like everyone else — including Democrats — to identify potential voters and their interests.

It appears Facebook is only punishing these data companies now because they are helping Republicans and not just the Democratic Party.

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Source: MediaEqualizer

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