Date
17 July 2018
Facebook is scrambling to contain the damage from a data leak scandal. Photo: Reuters
Facebook is scrambling to contain the damage from a data leak scandal. Photo: Reuters

Facebook suspends Canadian firm over data scandal

Facebook has suspended Canadian political consultancy AggregateIQ from its platform after reports that the data firm may have improperly had access to the personal data of Facebook users.

“In light of recent reports that AggregateIQ may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received FB user data, we have added them to the list of entities we have suspended from our platform while we investigate,” Facebook said in a statement on Friday, Reuters reports.

“Our internal review continues, and we will cooperate fully with any investigations by regulatory authorities.”

Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) is a government and military contractor that is the parent of Cambridge Analytica, the London-based firm that is at the center of a Facebook data breach scandal.

Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who once worked at Cambridge Analytica, has said that it worked with Canadian company AggregateIQ.

Wylie has said that AggregateIQ received payment from a pro-Brexit campaign group before the 2016 referendum when Britain voted to quit the European Union.

The Canadian federal agency charged with protecting privacy rights of individuals said on Thursday that the agency, along with its counterpart in British Columbia, would jointly investigate Facebook and AggregateIQ over the ongoing data scandal.

Facebook Canada said on Wednesday that more than 600,000 Canadians had their data “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook said last Wednesday that the personal information of up to 87 million users, mostly in the United States, may have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, up from a previous news media estimate of more than 50 million.

The social media giant first acknowledged last month that personal information about millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica.

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RC

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