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Twitter sold data to the man behind Cambridge Analytica

It is true: Twitter has sold data to the man who was also involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal at Facebook. To be precise, Twitter has given the company (called Global Science Research or GSR) of the man (who also created the famous quiz for Facebook) access to public tweets. That’s nothing crazy, because it’s just part of the business model of the social media company. Customers can pay to get temporary access and the man in question, Aleksandr Kogan, paid in 2015 for one day access .

That it is ultimately the same party that also sold the data to Cambridge Analytica is true, but unlike the Facebook affair, nothing strange has happened here. The only tweets that have been ‘scraped’ are public tweets from the period 2014-2015 and there are no private messages. According to Twitter itself, there is therefore no abuse of the messages.

Most common thing in the world

Normally, business users get the widest access to the Twitter data, if they pay, of course. They can get messages back to tweets or even up to 2006 in the last 30 days. Then it must be explained what they intend to do with that data and who its end users are. So Twitter did not say what the purpose of the data was that GSR took in 2015, but since there is nothing more included than agreed, Twitter sees no problem.

And rightly so, by the way: data sales are the most normal thing in the world (Twitter earned $ 90 million in practice in the last quarter) and it’s usually used for very banal things as predicting or recognizing trends or sentiment among customers . It is good that we look at it, but in this case there is really nothing wrong, except that the same man has had to deal with it. Twitter has problems but leaked data is (as far as now visible) none of it.

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