FLASHBACK - Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and data mining: What you need to know | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

FLASHBACK - Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and data mining: What you need to know

Consultants working for Donald Trump's presidential campaign exploited the personal Facebook data of millions.

Last month, The New York Times and the UK's Guardian and Observer newspapers broke news the social networking giant was duped by researchers, who reportedly gained access to the data of millions of Facebook users and then may have misused it for political ads during the 2016 US presidential election. Facebook said it was investigating the reports, which involved data consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Over the past three-plus weeks, the situation has snowballed. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in Washington this week to testify before Congress. Meanwhile, the number of accounts affected has risen to 87 million from initial reports of 50 million. Separately, Facebook said it was purging pages linked to a Russian troll farm that's known for creating fake online identities and posting on both sides of politically divisive issues.

Cambridge Analytica reportedly acquired the data in a way that violated the social network's policies. It then reportedly tapped the information to build psychographic profiles of users and their friends, which were used for targeted political ads in the UK's Brexit referendum campaign, as well as by Trump's team during the 2016 US election.

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