WASHINGTON: Facebook says it has suspended the account of Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm hired by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, after reports it harvested the profile information of millions of US voters without their permission.

According to The New York Times and Britain’s Observer, the company stole information from 50 million Facebook users’ profiles in the tech giant’s biggest-ever data breach, to help them design software to predict and influence voters’ choices at the ballot box.

Cambridge Analytica was bankrolled to the tune of $15 billion by US hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, a major Republican donor. The Observer said it was headed at the time by Steve Bannon, a top Trump adviser until he was fired last summer.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2018

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