The FTC opened its investigation into Facebook’s data practices last March, one week after news broke that Cambridge Analytica , a political consulting firm that worked with the Trump campaign in 2016, had improperly obtained information on tens of millions of Facebook users.
Two years later, in 2015, a Guardian writer named Harry Davies reported that Cambridge Analytica had collected data on millions of American Facebook users without their permission, and used their likes to create personality profiles for the 2016 US election.
Sprinkled among those names are also key players from President Trump's 2016 digital team, including his former digital director and current campaign manager Brad Parscale, as well as several former executives of Cambridge Analytica, the now defunct consulting company, including its former CEO Alexander Nix, former business development director Brittany Kaiser, and Julian Wheatland, director of Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL Group.
After the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of violating Facebook’s rules by harvesting and retaining data on tens of millions of users without their knowledge, Facebook banned nearly every app the company had ever touched, including some unaffiliated research apps that were associated with the University of Cambridge.
Former SCL contractor Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica last March, telling *The Guardian* and *The New York Times* that the company misappropriated the data of tens of millions of Facebook users and used it for political purposes during the 2016 presidential election in the US.