With May’s presidential elections approaching, Colombia blocked a Mexican phone application believed to be connected to the notorious Cambridge Analytica, an analytics company accused of using Facebook content information to manipulate voters around the world.
The Superintendent of Industry and Commerce ordered a temporary block be placed against the Pig.gi application while an investigation is underway.The app, which was first introduced in Mexico this year, provides Android owners with free internet and phone credit in exchange for advertising and article views.
The application was previously available for download in both Mexico and Colombia through the Google Play Store and has already more than one million downloads in both countries, the Superintendent said.
The app, which users sign into using their Facebook account, is administered by Farrow Colombia S.A.S and Farrow Mexico S.A.P.I. de CV, the statement said.The regulator did not specify what evidence it had which proved a connection between Cambridge Analytica and Farrow.
The protection of personal data in Colombia and preventive precautionary measures are being taken to ensure any potential risk of mistreatment is avoided. The blockade extends to all URL or IP addresses as well as any download portals which open access to or download of Pig.gi.
Bloomberg reports, Cambridge Analytica’s vice president admitted to managing a partnership with the application which he said was transparently designed to influence the votes of younger Mexicans ahead of the general elections on July 1.
Cambridge Analytica is currently under investigation for the illicit acquirement of personal information from 50 million Facebook users from around the world which they allegedly manipulated to create voter profiles.
Though Cambridge Analytica claims it did not use Facebook data in U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign, the popular social media platform has not escaped its part in the internet scandal. It has been invited to testify before U.S. Congress and British Parliament and explain how the analytics company obtained the private information.
Facebook has made some effort to remedy the situation, announcing a series of changes on Wednesday to give users more control over their data, after the scandal wiped more than $100 billion from its stock market value.
As well Brazil has ordered the social media company to withdraw all publications containing “false information” from its domain within the next 24 hours.
Brazilian Judge Jorge Janse Counago Novelle from the 15th Civil Court of the Tribunal Justice in Rio de Janeiro called for immediate action, demanding that the social network also be restrained from allowing the circulation of new publications defaming the recently deceased councillor Marielle Franco, assassinated two weeks ago.
Counago Novelle has requested information from sponsors of the various articles just one week after the court demanded Google remove 16 Youtube videos spreading “fake news” on the situation of the former councilwoman.