Ted Cruz, well known as a probable candidate for President of United States for 2016 presidential elections and a Junior Senator for Texas is in news for mining data of facebook users in an unlawful way. Cruz is said to be using psychological data based on research spanning tens of millions of facebook users, harvested largely without their permission, to boost his surging in White house run, and to gain an edge over Donald Trump and other Republican rivals.
According to “The Guardian”, a little known data company called Magnate and leading republican donor Robert Mercer paid researchers of Cambridge Analytica of Cambridge University to gather detailed psychological profiles about the US electorate using a massive pool of mainly US facebook users built with an online survey.
Analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings shows Cruz’s campaign has paid Cambridge Analytica at least $750,000 this year. The “behavioral micro-targeting” company has also received around $2.5m over the past two years from conservative Super Pacs to which Mercer or members of his family have donated.
Though, it is not an illegal activity to depend on social media platform for election campaigns, the data mining procedure from Facebook which Ted Cruz depended was not accepted by many.
Facebook said the company was “carefully investigating this situation” regarding the Cruz campaign and said that it would not tolerate companies mining its users info without their permission. Facebook spokesperson said that misleading people or misusing their information is a direct violation of their company’s policy and so will take swift action against companies that do, including banning those companies from Facebook and requiring them to destroy all improperly collected big data.
Reacting to the news, Ted Cruz said that he has an ceremonial explanation for this entire fiasco and will tender it when right time comes before the authorities.