Facebook Picks Fight With Cambridge University Over Researchers

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After tackling U.S. lawmakers, Mark Zuckerberg is now taking on one of England’s oldest and most prestigious academic institutions amid a widening probe into the misuse of Facebook user data.  During his U.S. congressional testimony, the Facebook chief executive officer said his company was questioning “whether there was something bad going on at Cambridge University overall that will require a stronger reaction from us.” Representatives for Facebook did not elaborate on what a "stronger reaction" might mean.

Initially, the company was chiefly concerned with the activities of Aleksandr Kogan, a researcher at the university. But Zuckerberg said that the social-media giant had now discovered “a whole program” associated with the school, in which people built apps that vacuumed up the data of its users and their friends. The elite 800-year-old British university said in a statement that it would be “surprised” if Zuckerberg had only just become aware that a number of its academics had been researching what a person’s Facebook data says about their personality.  “Our researchers have been publishing such research since 2013 in peer-reviewed scientific journals and these studies have been reported widely in international media,” the university said, adding that Facebook had contact with the researchers themselves in 2013.


Facebook Picks Fight With Cambridge University Over Researchers