Published: Fri, March 30, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower's evidence made public by British lawmakers

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower's evidence made public by British lawmakers

They fell further as the USA consumer regulator said it would investigate how the data of 50 million users got into the hands of UK-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Christopher Wylie, who worked for Cambridge Analytica, alleges that the data was used to help to build profiles on American voters and build support for Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.

In a tweet, Wylie likened SCL's presence and work in India to "modern colonialism" and posted what can only be described as SCL's "brochure of achievements" in India.

Wylie claimed in his testimony before the House of Commons yesterday that Cambridge Analytica had the Congress party as a client in India, but the "documents" put out by him don't say so. "We carried out a psephological study and opinion polling for a national party to identify swing voters in 2012 Uttar Pradesh elections", OBI lists in its list of "past experience".

Domestic media reports have said that Cambridge Analytica and its India partner have been in talks with both the Congress and the BJP for a possible collaboration for their 2019 Lok Sabha election campaigns. Taking it to his Twitter profile, whistleblower Wylie shared a document saying, "I've been getting a lot of requests from Indian journalists, so here are some of SCL's past projects in India".

It said in 2011, SCL India undertook a state-wide research campaign to identify voter caste by household.

Wylie also disclosed a location of the firm's office and regional centres, owned and operated by SCL in India.

Cambridge Analytica reportedly has not completely deleted the Facebook data it acquired.

Nearly a week after Mark Zuckerberg published a post acknowledging Facebook's shortcomings in the Cambridge Analytica saga, and only a couple of days after a public apology via newspapers in the United Kingdom and the US, Facebook has finally rolled out the first batch of changes on the platform related to how users see and access data. The documents say that the USA arm of the company, formed in June 2014, could participate as a vendor of technology as long as Nix, a Briton, was "recused from the substantive management of any such clients involved in United States elections". "The whistleblower has publicly confirmed that the Congress was indeed their client", Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

In addition to this, Facebook has promised that once its investigation is complete, it will start notifying users of the social network service whose data may have been compromised in the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

"They [Cambridge Analytica] worked extensively in India".

SCL, Cambridge Analytica's predecessor, had access to secret UK information and was singled out for praise by the UK Ministry of Defence for the training it provided to a psychological operations warfare group, according to documents newly released by MPs. "At scale when you can dissect this data and customize messages to individual people to prey on their fears, that kind of campaign is always possible", said Nikhil Pahwa, a digital rights activist and founder of digital news portal MediaNama.

A New York Times report earlier this month revealed that the firm had harvested information from 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge, it was also revealed that any contracts the firm negotiated would be overseen by Nix, a situation their lawyer warned could violate the legal provision restricting foreign nationals from certain activities, particularly if he and other foreign executives conducted actual analysis.

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