Facebook ‘Looking Into’ Palantir’s Access to User Data Harvested by Cambridge Analytica

Illustration for article titled Facebook ‘Looking Into’ Palantir’s Access to User Data Harvested by Cambridge Analytica
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British lawmakers grilled Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer on Thursday, asking him questions about the social media company’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which roughly 87 million Facebook users had their data pilfered through a personality quiz app.


When one of the members of Parliament asked about Palantir having “improper access” to user data, Schroepfer confirmed that the company was looking into concerns about Palantir, a highly secretive surveillance and data-analytics company that has worked with the CIA, NSA, and FBI.

“I think we are looking at lots of different things now many people have raised that concern,” Schroepfer told the group. “It’s something else we are looking into.”

The inquiry was led by Damian Collins, chair of Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. According to CNBC, Collins asked if Palantir was part of Facebook’s “review work.”

Schroepfer confirmed: “Correct.”

Whistleblower Christoper Wylie stated in March that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, had worked with Palantir. Palantir denied working with the company, but told The New York Times that “an employee, in 2013-2014, engaged in an entirely personal capacity with people associated with Cambridge Analytica.”

In mid-March, Facebook admitted that Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed data on tens of millions of Facebook users, which it collected through a quiz app called This Is Your Digital Life. According to Wylie, Cambridge Analytica used the data to create psychographic profiles of voters.

While it’s unclear if it gained access to the Facebook user data that Cambridge Analytica harvested, Palantir’s connection to the social network extends beyond any potential collaboration with Cambridge Analytica. Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member, is a Palantir co-founder. (Thiel secretly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker Media, Gizmodo’s former parent company.)


Hopefully, Kanye West will get to the bottom of this matter during his meeting with Thiel.



Former senior reporter at Gizmodo


You know.. i’ve forever told people that using those stupid quiz apps (or any app on facebook including it’s own messenger) was not a good idea. I never use them myself, yet somehow my data was among those stolen by that company? I was notified like everyone else. At this point if you use Facebook, your data is out there, my suggestion is either A) stop using facebook, or B) remove all your personal info from it and stop posting anything, and if you choose B, you might as well revert to A. Of course the real winner is option C) Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure. heh