United Kingdom demands U.S. data from Cambridge Analytica in landmark privacy ruling

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Reuters and Ipsos on Sunday released the results of a poll conducted in April querying United States social media users' habits a month after the dodgy data revelations.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll adds to other indications that Facebook has so far suffered no ill effects from the episode, other than a public relations headache.

In the announcement, the company stated, "Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the company's efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas".

Facebook, which has over 2 billion monthly active users, depends on its users spending significant amounts of time on the service, which is roughly 90 percent supported by ad revenue.

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Facebook declined to comment. However, the company is accused of selling data of millions of Facebook users without their permission. While the original data was deleted, Cambridge Analytica kept derivatives of that data. In its first quarter results, however, Facebook said the number of monthly users in the United States and Canada rose to 241 million on March 31 from 239 million on December 31, growth that was roughly in line with recent years. Those figures are drastically higher than other social media services, such as Twitter and Instagram (also owned by Facebook). The key question asked was, "Have you changed how frequently you use Facebook recently?"

Among the biggest announcements made in the conference was Facebook's plans to build a "Clear History" privacy tool which will enable users to see the websites and apps that send information to Facebook when they use them. Another 49 per cent said they have "some control", and 20 per cent said they had "no control". The remaining 56 percent said they hadn't (53 percent) or didn't know how to (3 percent).

The findings of the poll, which was conducted from April 26 to 30, may give clues to advertisers and analysts as to whether Facebook's business suffered any blowback from the scandal, which came to light in late March, after reports by The Guardian and The New York Times. The poll has a margin of error of three percentage points.

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