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Facebook allows targeting of advertisements based on interests, behaviors, location, and demographics. It also allows targeting groups like website visitors, app users, and audiences that look like existing audiences. It also provides a list of companies who can assist with advertising on Facebook. including data brokers who can augment custom audience lists. Additionally, data is available via the API and some app developers collect data from users via their apps, as Global Science Research did (and then sold it to Cambridge Analytica). Similar services are also offered on Instagram.

Cambridge Analytica


A data-driven political marketing company that worked on many different campaigns around the world. Cambridge Analytica uses data from a variety of sources combined with psychological profiles and surveys to target advertisements. It has been at the center of recent scandals due to the misuse of Facebook data when working on the Trump campaign.<br />An undercover investigation revealed that in some cases they may conceal their involvement in elections with front companies/partner companies or use more dubious tactics such as bribery and honey traps. Cambridge Analytica was also working on a cryptocurrency to enable people to sell their data to advertisers.<br />Due to a series of scandals, Cambridge Analytica and many of its associated companies were closed. However, Cambridge Analytica is far from unique and many other companies use similar techniques and data.


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