Facebook takes out full-page ads to apologize for data scandal

Cambridge Analytica A saga of manipulation of data to influence electoral mandate

Data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica has accepted a probe into how it handled about 50 million data of users on Facebook it obtained from Cambridge University Professor Aleksandr Kogan.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had since addressed some of the issues, with Cambridge Analytica saying the company will undergo an independent third-party audit to determine whether it still holds any data covertly obtained from Facebook users.

Efforts by the ICO to investigate Cambridge Analytica had hit a snag on Thursday after a judge adjourned its application to search the British consultancy group's office by 24 hours.

The data watchdog is looking into claims that Cambridge Analytica, used by Donald Trump during his primary campaign, illegally mined users' Facebook data and then used it to target potential voters. Zuckerberg called the incident a "a major breach of trust".

Apart from its role in genocide, as in the case with the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the author of the report, Vivek Wadhwa, also states that Facebook data may also have been used to influence the Brexit vote in Britain, as well as regional elections in India, without the company's knowledge.

A van and a group of people leave the building which houses the offices of Cambridge Analytica as investigators from Britain's Information Commissioners Office entered, following the granting of a search warrant by a High Court judge, in London, Britain March 23.

The company's shares fell 3.3 per cent Friday to $159.39 at the close in NY, bringing the loss this week to nearly 14 per cent since the revelations broke.

Facebook has taken its apologies for the Cambridge Analytica scandal offline.

Elon Musk deleted the Facebook pages for carmaker Tesla and his rocket company SpaceX after he was challenged to do so by Twitter members. The company worked for Donald Trump's 2016 USA presidential campaign.

The company, founded by Stephen K. Bannon and Robert Mercer, a wealthy Republican donor who has put at least Dollars 15 million into it, offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behaviour.

"Finally, we'll remind you which apps you've given access to your information - so you can shut off the ones you don't want anymore".

Cambridge Analytica has said that "it is willing to cooperate with the ICO in its investigation".