Man suing data firm calls use of Facebook profiles a “wake-up call”

NEW YORK — Facebook has suspended a data firm that worked with President Trump’s campaign team over a violation of the site’s privacy policies. The Guardian is reporting that Cambridge Analytica used personal information from Facebook profiles of millions of U.S. voters without permission.

Mr. Trump’s 2016 data guru Brad Parscale, who has been named campaign manager of the president’s 2020 re-election bid, hired Cambridge Analytica during the campaign. Cambridge Analytica has said it was key to Mr. Trump’s victory.

David Carroll is an associate professor at Parsons School of Design who filed a lawsuit against Cambridge Analytica when he said he found out it collected data on him. Carroll said he followed the practices off all the presidential campaigns in 2016 and requested data from the London-based company last year.

“It had information about my voter registration, information about results in my district and a political model about my beliefs and a prediction of my participation,” Carroll said on CBSN Saturday. “The legal experts working with us believe this is not a complete disclosure.”

Carroll worked with a legal team in London to file a lawsuit against Cambridge Analytica under Britain’s data protection act. Carroll said they’re asking for more disclosure because they believe the data they provided is not proficient.

“It shows how we don’t have adequate privacy laws in the United States — that it’s just a coincidence or the weirdness that our data was processed in Europe where they have strong protections that we need in the United States,” Carroll said. “If anything, it’s a wake-up call that we need equal rights to our friends across the Atlantic.”

Cambridge Analytica uses the controversial practice called psychographics that micro-target ads based on personality. In October, Parscale told “60 Minutes” that the Trump campaign never used the psychographics that made Cambridge Analytica famous. He said the practice of psychographics “doesn’t work,” but he said he doesn’t believe it’s “sinister.”

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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