What They’re Saying: Business Schools Talk About Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica

Less than a week after Christopher Wylie, the whistle-blower in the ongoing Cambridge Analytica controversy, helped reveal the “dirty tricks” the data mining firm used to help swing elections in North America, Europe, and Africa—including the 2016 U.S. general election—business schools are reacting to the dynamic story.

In short, UK television outlet Channel 4 News filmed several Cambridge Analytica members in an undercover operation, in which they revealed numerous strategies, including: soliciting fake bribes, hiring prostitutes to seduce potential candidates in elections, and more. Company chief executive Alexander Nix was also filmed in the video, which you can watch here, boasted the company’s outreach methods on social media, saying: “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.”

Another member of the Cambridge Analytica team also argued that they constructed President Donald Trump’s popular “crooked Hillary” campaign slogan from 2016.

Further, the controversy revealed how the company pilfered upwards of “50 million” Facebook profiles, most of which came without consent. Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg played silent on the ongoing story up until March 21, plainly saying in a CNN interview “I’m really sorry that this happened.”

“Aleksandr Kogan, the data scientist who passed along data to SCL Group and its affiliate Cambridge Analytica, built a Facebook app that drew data from users and their friends in 2013. He was allowed access to a broad range of data at the time.

Though Kogan’s data was properly obtained, he breached Facebook’s policy when he shared that information with a third party, Facebook has said. When Facebook learned about the information being shared, it asked Cambridge Analytica to destroy the data. Cambridge said it had.”

Wylie notes that Cambridge Analytica probably never destroyed that data, inevitably leading towards the company’s involvement in the 2016 election. Several of the nation’s most prominent business schools talked about the story on Twitter, which you can read below.

“The really big issue is if regulators start questioning the business model of tech firms. Currently, consumers give away their data in exchange for free services, but what if regulators start putting a price on people’s data?” –
Cass Business Professor André Spicer

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About the Author

Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is a writer on MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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