Aleksandr Kogan has (indirectly) called Mark Zuckerberg a hypocrite.
Some time ago, Cambridge Analytica got hold of data from almost 87 million Facebook accounts.
How Did This Happen?
ALeksandr Kogan, at the behest of his company, made a quiz application. He is credited for building ‘This is your digital life’. The app allowed users to log in, using their own Facebook credentials. Inside the app, users were taken to participate in a 4$ quiz.
The app got access to users’ data (with users’ own permission – it’s fairly common considering almost every downloaded app and online Facebook game does the same) and got into the laps of Cambridge Analytica.
Kogan told New York Times that at that time, he believed it was a normal thing to do. He thought everyone knew and nobody cared about such details but now his opinions have changed and he is sorry.
What’s most unfortunate about this incident is the controversy that Donald’s Trump presidential team acquired the services of ‘Cambridge Analytica’ and thus, this data helped them create models which caused an upset, particularly affecting rustbelt voters.
Inside the ‘terms & conditions’ of the application, a clause was mentioned which stated in giving permission to Kogan and his friends to use friends’ public profile data.
Fast forward to Zuckerberg, he takes the blame by accepting the fact that he and his company didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from causing harm.
(After Kogan’s response, Zuckerberg stated that Kogan’s actions were unacceptable).
Kogan on the other hand says that Zuckerberg is just trying to shift away the blame (on him). He says that they are pinning all the debris on him, by classifying him as ‘a rogue agent who transferred the data’.
The most astonishing part about Kogan’s statement is that he says what he and his company were doing, was nothing new. The fact that his company had been singularized and scrutinized does not hide the fact that there are other companies – operating on much bigger scale than his and are still out there, with Facebook having no accounting for them.
While explaining the issue, Kogan believes that Facebook’s business model is highly complex. The greatest social media platform will sell target-oriented advertisements to people who want to see them. This means, a person will be shown a favorable ad at a favorable time, with goal being to obtain as much information from people as possible.