A months long investigation uncovered concerns that Cambridge Analytica may have used improperly obtained academic data to craft its psychometric profiles.
In early 2014, a couple years before a bizarre election season marred by waves of false stories and cyberattacks and foreign disinformation campaigns, thousands of Americans were asked to take a quiz. On Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, where people are paid to perform microtasks, users would be paid $1 or $2 apiece to answer some questions about their personality on a survey website called Qualtrics, and then turn over their Facebook data and that of all of their friends. Soon, some people noticed that the task violated Amazon’s own rules.
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