CA, Facebook & you

The world has just learned how a data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, harvested(काटा) the data of 50 million Facebook users and used that information to feed strategies(रणनीतियाँ) such as ‘behavioural microtargeting’ and ‘psychographic messaging’ for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign(अभियान/मुहिम) in the U.S. Chris Wylie, a former CA employee-turned-whistle-blower(मुखबिर), set off a storm(तूफान/हल्ला बोलना) with revelations(खुलासे) of how the company had deployed a ‘psychological warfare’ tool for alt-right media guru Steve Bannon
to try to sway the election in Mr. Trump’s favour. CA chief executive Alexander Nix, who was suspended a few days ago following an undercover report by a British TV broadcaster, said the company has used otherdubious(संदेहपूर्ण/अनिश्‍चित) methods in projects worldwide — including honeytraps to discredit clients’ opponents(विरोधियों को।/प्रतियोगी). The combination of using personal data without consent and tailoring slander(बदनामी/अपवाद) campaigns, fake news and propaganda(प्रचार/कल्पना) to discovered preferences of voters is a potent(प्रभावयुक्त/शक्तिशाली) and corrosive(संक्षारक) cocktail. Facebook has said its policies in 2014, when a personality profiling(रूपरेखा) app was run on its platform, permitted the developer to scrape data not only from those who downloaded the app but also from the profiles of their Facebook ‘friends’. Yet it did not make sure the data were destroyed by the app’s developer Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University academic, nor by CA itself when it came to light that Mr. Kogan had sold the data to CA, a third party. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has offered an apology(सफ़ाई/समर्थन) and expressed willingness to cooperate with inquiries and potentially open up Facebook to regulation.
This episode has brought to light several issues that need to be addressed. First, companies have been collecting data and tailoring marketing campaigns accordingly. The issue here is particularly prickly(काँटेदार) because politics and elections are involved. Second, regardless of whether what Facebook and CA did was legal or not, something is broken in a policy environment in which the data of millions are taken and used when only 270,000 people knowingly or unknowingly(बिना जाने बूझे) gave consent(सहमति/सम्मति देना). Third, technology is evolving at a rapid(तीव्र/शीघ्र) pace, raising the question whether laws need to be reframed mandating(अनिवार्य) an opt-out approach universally rather than an opt-in approach. Individuals often share their data without being aware of it or understanding the implications(निहितार्थ/उलझाव) of privacy terms and conditions. Fourth, there must be clear laws on the ownership of data and what data need to be protected. Personal data cannot be the new oil. Individuals must own it, have a right to know what companies and governments know about them and, in most cases, that is, when there are no legitimate(कानूनी/उचित) security or public interest reasons, have the right to have their data destroyed. The CA issue is a wake-up call for India; the government is still dragging(खींचना/घिसाव) its feet on framing a comprehensive(विस्तृत/व्यापक) and robust(मजबूत/ठोस) data protection law.

Important Vocabulary
Synonyms: accumulate, amass, collect, gather, hoard
Antonyms: disperse, dissipate, distribute, divide, grow
Synonyms: announcement, discovery, epiphany, leak, news
Antonyms: concealment, cover, hiding, quiet, secret
3.Opponents(विरोधियों को।/प्रतियोगी)
Synonyms: adversary, aspirant, candidate, challenger, competitor
Antonyms: ally, assistant, friend, helper, associate
Synonyms: acerbicstarcausticstardestructivestarincisivestartrenchant
Antonyms: gentle, kind, nice, contributing, fortifying
Synonyms: acknowledgment, admission, amends, atonement, concession
Antonyms: denial, refusal, repudiation, accusation, censure
Synonyms: defamation, disparagement, libel, misrepresentation, Smear
Antonyms: approval, commendation, compliment, praise, flattery
Synonyms: accept, advocate, agree, authorize, back
Antonyms: contradict, decline, deny, destroy, disagree
Synonyms: boring, dull, long, prolonged, protracted
Antonyms: exciting, interesting, energizing, lively
Synonyms: booming, hearty, hefty, potent, powerful
Antonyms: fragile, impotent, incapable, ineffective, lethargic
Synonyms: complicated, knotty, nettlesome, ticklish, tricky
Antonyms: easy, simple, uncomplicated, happy, pleasant

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