E&C Dems Want Assurances Data Propria Isn’t Using Improperly Obtained Cambridge Analytica Data
Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) sent a letter to Data Propria President Matt Oczkowski today seeking assurances that the company, which includes several former employees of Cambridge Analytica, is not using consumer data wrongfully obtained by Cambridge Analytica or engaging in any other inappropriate practices.
Cambridge Analytica misused Facebook users’ data collected through a personality test app developed by Aleksandr Kogan of Global Science Research. The data was sold to Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook’s app developer policies. Cambridge Analytica then used the improperly obtained data to target U.S. voters with political ads during the 2016 election. While Cambridge Analytica reportedly told Facebook that the data had been destroyed in 2015, reporters from The New York Times said they had seen parts of the data earlier this year. It remains unclear whether any previous employees of Cambridge Analytica might still have access to the data.
“You have acknowledged in interviews with press that the work of Data Propria will be very similar to Cambridge Analytica,” the three members wrote to Oczowski. “The admitted overlap between the personnel and work of Cambridge Analytica and Data Propria raises serious concerns about Data Propria’s practices regarding the collection and use of Americans’ personal information.”
The Democrats are requesting a briefing from Data Propria on its data collection and use practices and policies to address the following topics:
- whether Data Propria has any data obtained by Cambridge Analytica from Aleksandr Kogan in its possession;
- whether Data Propria has any data obtained directly from Aleksandr Kogan or Global Science Research in its possession;
- whether Data Propria obtained any data about Facebook users through other third-party apps on Facebook (and if so, which apps) or from Facebook through any other means, including Data Propria’s own app on Facebook;
- whether Data Propria obtained data about consumers through any other internet advertising services or data brokers and if so, which services or data brokers;
- whether Data Propria obtain Americans’ data that it uses for its political consulting services; and
- whether Data Propria is providing consumers with notice of how it uses and shares their information.
The letter is available HERE.