Facebook has suspended a developer called CubeYou, associated with the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, for allegedly engaging in Cambridge Analytica-style data collection tactics.
The data in question was collected by researchers at the school then sold to marketers, according to CNBC.
“CubeYou misleadingly labeled its quizzes ‘for non-profit academic research'” CNBC reported on Sunday, adding that the revelation “suggests that collecting data from quizzes and using it for marketing purposes was far from an isolated incident.”
In a statement to PCMag, Facebook confirmed it is investigating CubeYou’s activities after being alerted by CNBC that it was gathering information about users to share with marketers, similar to how Cambridge Analytica received the data of some 87 million people and used it to build profiles on potential voters for use in political campaigns.
“These are serious claims and we have suspended CubeYou from Facebook while we investigate them,” Facebook Vice President of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong said in a statement. “If they refuse or fail our audit, their apps will be banned from Facebook.”
Archibong went on to say that Facebook plans to “work with the UK ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office] to ask the University of Cambridge about the development of apps in general by its Psychometrics Centre given this case and the misuse by Kogan.” Aleksandr Kogan is the Cambridge University researcher and developer of the personality test app at the center of the Cambridge Analytica data leak.
“We want to thank CNBC for bringing this case to our attention,” Archibong said.
Meanwhile, Kogan has suggested that this type of activity is commonplace.
“What was communicated to me strongly is that thousands and maybe tens of thousands of apps were doing the exact same thing. And this was a pretty normal use case of Facebook data,” Kogan told BBC Radio 4’s Today last month, according to The Guardian.
The CubeYou discovery comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before Congress this week about the Cambridge Analytica data leak. The social network promised to start adding a link to the top of News Feeds, starting today, that will let you know if your information was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.