Facebook has suspended a data mining firm that is said to have been used by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party, Jubilee, in the last election.
Read: Kenyan polls project of dubious firm – Clinton
On Friday, Facebook Inc said it was suspending Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), including their political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook said in a statement that it took the action after it found they had violated its policies.
Facebook said that protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything it does, and requires the same from people who operate apps on the platform.
“In 2015, we learned that a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan lied to us and violated our Platform Policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica, a firm that does political, government and military work around the globe. He also passed that data to Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, Inc,” the statement said.
It added that approximately 270,000 people downloaded the app.
“In so doing, they gave their consent for Kogan to access information such as the city they set on their profile, or content they had liked, as well as more limited information about friends who had their privacy settings set to allow it,” Facebook said.
Facebook added that though Cambridge Analytica, Kogan and Wylie all certified to us that they destroyed the data, it found a few days ago that not all was deleted.
Ahead of the 2017 elections, Jubilee Party is said to have contracted the services of Cambridge Analytica to manage part of its campaign.
Cambridge Analytica is credited with helping President Trump to win the American presidential election last November and with helping the Leave side to win in the Brexit referendum in the UK last June.
Read: Uhuru hires data firm behind Trump, Brexit victories
The Jubilee Party has never accepted or denied the use of the firm.
In September last year, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Kenya’s annulled presidential election “a project” of Cambridge Analytica.
Speaking to US National Public Radio host Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday, Clinton said she was probing what happened with Kenya’s presidential election and why the Supreme Court invalided it.
“You know, the Kenya election was just overturned and really what’s interesting about that — and I hope somebody writes about it, Terry — the Kenyan election was also a project of Cambridge Analytica, the data company owned by the Mercer family that was instrumental in the Brexit vote,” Clinton said.