Facebook has suspended another data analytics firm amid claims that the company has been improperly harvesting user information. The firm, Cubeyou, gathered data under the guise of academic research, then shared it with marketers, a CNBC report found.
The tactics echo those of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that accessed and shared information from as many as 87 million users without permission for political marketing. Cubeyou created personality quizzes that reached tens of millions of Facebook users, labeling the privacy permissions as "non-exclusive access for research purposes only." However, the quizzes allowed Cubeyou to access personal information that was disclosed to third parties, such as location, age, relationship status, likes, comments on posts, and mentions of brands. A previous version of the quizzes also gave Cubeyou access to the personal data of a user's friends.
The company's customers included communication firms and advertising agencies, CNBC reports. A Cubeyou executive said that the app had disclaimers about its use of data on a separate website, and denied that the quizzes could access the data of a user's friends.
Facebook was reportedly unaware of Cubeyou's improper practices, and suspended Cubeyou for an audit. The discovery comes just days before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before Congress regarding the platform's recent privacy issues. Read more at CNBC.