The man at the center of the Facebook scandal talked last night on CBS' 60 Minutes (VIDEOS)

The man at the center of the Facebook scandal talked last night on CBS' 60 Minutes (VIDEOS)
If you've been following the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, you surely have heard the name Aleksandr Kogan. He is the Russian-American researcher who developed the app that grabbed data from millions (87 million at last count) of Facebook subscribers without permission. He then turned that information into psychological profiles and allegedly sold that data to Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm hired by the Donald Trump campaign. With this information, the campaign was able to place ads and hold events with surgical precision. It enabled Trump to win the election by 40,000 well-placed votes even though Hillary Clinton received 3 million more popular votes than Trump did.

Kogan was the subject of a piece run last night on CBS' 60 Minutes television show, and during an interview with Leslie Stahl he was asked whether he actually sold the information to Cambridge Analytica. Kogan said that while the data was sold to the consulting firm for $800,000, personally he received nothing from his company for collecting the personal data. He thought at the time, that he was doing everything correctly. "You know, I was kinda acting, honestly, quite naively. I thought we were doing everything okay," he said.

When told that Facebook accuses him of lying to the company, Kogan said that this was frustrating. He claims that he never would have done the things he did had he known it would ruin his relationship with Facebook (he is banned) and hurt other people. The researcher admits that he knew these profiles were going to be used for the election to help the Republicans win. And while former Trump lackey Steve Bannon was reportedly in charge of Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data for the Trump campaign, Kogan claims not to have heard the name while putting together his package for the consulting firm.

During the course of the interview, Kogan said that there are tens of thousands of apps similar to the one he created to mine profile data. He said it was a Facebook feature called "friend permissions," that allowed users to give permission for their friend's data to be scraped. Even though the friend never agreed to opt-in, his/her data was snatched by Kogan and turned over to Cambridge Analytica. During the interview, Kogan says that Facebook is really to blame for this mess because it gave people like himself the tools to collect personal information. "This was not a hack," he said to CBS' Leslie Stahl. "This was, here's the door. We're giving away the groceries."


Facebook is in trouble since it apparently violated a 2011 consent decree signed with the FTC that prevents the company from mining profile data without the user's permission. As for Kogan, he might end up embroiled in Special Counsel (got that right!) Robert Mueller's probe.

Take a look at some official CBS clips from the show. You'll find them directly below.


source: CBS (1), (2), (3), (4), (5),

FEATURED VIDEO

13 Comments

1. lJesseCusterl

Posts: 96; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

Oh, joy. More unhinged whining about Trump. How surprising. Amazing how you're supposed to be a full-grown adult, yet too stupid and ignorant to grasp the concept of the electoral college.

2. Alan01

Posts: 627; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Who is whining about Trump? Actually, the level of sophistication used to win the election by 40k votes is impressive. Regards, Alan Friedman

3. franzfifty

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 01, 2018

yes, but how this happened is more impressive - actually a proof of how sophisticated manipulation and criminal activity is! nothing to brag about.

12. Furbal unregistered

How did 40k total votes decide the election when only two state won by trump were within 40k for 26 electoral votes?

4. civicsr2cool

Posts: 273; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

Lol wtf is this hit piece? A well placed 40k votes? BTFO! Will you be diving into the same Facebook ads that the Clinton foundation put on Facebook as well?

10. AxelFoley unregistered

There were no Facebook ads from the Clinton Foundation on Facebook as the Clinton Foundation is a charity. Charities can't make campaign contributions, a lesson-learned by the Trump Foundation when Trump used the charity to donate to the campaign of Pam Bondi (Florida AG), after she threatened to investigate Trump University. The Trump Foundation was fined, and later disbanded, after it was made public that he hadn't donated to his own charity, but used it to also illegally make law suit settlement payments. If there were, they would partially be Trump's fault since he was a Clinton Foundation contributor. But, I'm sure you can probably find some nicely produced ones from Alex Jones or you'll find a good conspiracy theorist to back up your assertion that the Clinton Foundation paid for campaign ads. And, I understand how you all get upeset with any entity that counters false information. So, I apologize in advance.

13. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

I agree it wasn't Clinton Foundation. A lot of Clinton foundation donations came from middle eastern regimes.

8. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

There’s been a lot of finger pointing from the left, and Clinton herself, as to why Clinton lost. Russia, misogynist men, racists/white nationalists, Comey, etc. Anyone who paid attention to social media could see that Trump got more attention, for better or worse. The Trump subreddit was exploding with memes getting 10s of thousands of upvotes while Clinton’s was nearly a ghost town. Reddit actually had to subdue the popularity of it, because it was flooding the r/all. Same with Facebook followers of each candidate. You can also look at each candidates ground game, Trump was holding multiple rallies a day that were jam packed. Clinton held only a few rallies, with very low turnout. Clinton was just not a popular candidate, status quo, and boring with a dash of corruption.

11. sentinel336

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Do people not understand how social media works? How advertising works? How free platforms don't run on pixie dust? How marketing companies work? What is this world coming to? The outrage due to personal ignorance is laughable.

14. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

People don't give a f about Trump they are just concerned about their data which was breached.

15. sentinel336

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

How was the data breached? People willingly put their data out in public. Rule of thumb: Don't put anything on the internet you don't want "discovered" by companies.

17. Furbal unregistered

Yeah it was willful ignorance. Not a breech

16. drazwy

Posts: 356; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

What scandal? They've been doing this since it's inception. The only reason it gets attention now is because a political group the mainstream media doesn't like, used it. Otherwise, they are perfectly fine with it.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.