Cambridge Analytica

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Group.png Cambridge Analytica  
(Big data minerCompanies House Powerbase Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Ca.jpg
Formation31 December 2013
Founder• Steve Bannon
• Robert Mercer
HeadquartersLondon, England, United Kingdom
Exposed byCarole Cadwalladr
A big data mining company

Not to be confused with Oxford Analytica

Cambridge Analytica is a privately held big data mining company which is affiliated with the SCL Group and works for commercial customers as well as those in the "government space" and for the military.

Cambridge Analytica is accused of secretly harvesting up to 50 million Facebook users’ personal data to better identify individuals who could be targeted and influenced by specific political ad campaigns.

The firm, with grand claims it has influenced 200 political campaigns worldwide, was hired by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, but has denied that data acquired through Facebook was used to assist his efforts to win the election.[1]

Palantir

On 27 March 2018, whistleblower Christopher Wylie told a House of Commons select committee that Palantir, a secretive company co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, had worked with Cambridge Analytica:

“That was not an official contract between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica, but there were Palantir staff that would come into the office and work on that data, and helped build the models we were working on.”[2]

Further, and most memorably, Wylie asserted that “known Russian agents” were involved in the right-wing plot. As soon as Wylie went public, his accusations against Cambridge Analytica became a central pillar of the Russiagate narrative, bridging Trump-Putin across the Atlantic to Brexit and the rise of Euroscepticism.

Wylie Debunked by the Information Commissioner’s Office

After having spent 2 years on a very extensive examining of Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, the 2016 Brexit referendum in the UK, and allegations of ties to Russian government influence operations, the UK government's Information Commissioner’s Office published a report[3] "finding a chaotic, largely ineffectual operation with no connection to the Kremlin."

The Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham "methodically discredited the baseless allegations of collusion between the data firm, the Russian government, and the Trump campaign. Further, her report poured cold water on the influence of Cambridge Analytica in Brexit, demonstrating the company’s negligible impact on the vote. The ICO even concluded that Cambridge Analytica’s widely touted psychographic micro-targeting of voters was mostly hype. Its tactics were neither new nor particularly effective."[4]

Personnel

A March 2018 video by the UK's Channel 4, including hidden camera footage of Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica (CA) had Steve Bannon on its board of directors.[5] The CEO was Alexander Nix. Mark Turnbull, who joined Alexander Nix at the secretly filmed meetings, heads up SCL Elections as well as Cambridge Analytica Political Global. Turnbull previously spent 18 years at Bell Pottinger, heading up the Pentagon-funded PR drive in occupied Iraq which included the production of fake al-Qaeda videos.[6]

Activities

Alexander Nix, former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, claimed to have "already helped supercharge leave.eu". A member of their staff was on the board of Leave.Eu. Their spending returns made no mention of leave.eu and they denied doing professional work for the campaign, although this remained contested as of March 2017.[7][8]

Brexit

The Register reported "According to a story doing the rounds, psychometric big data pushed Britain into Brexit and Trump on to America. The winning sides adopted a method developed at the University of Cambridge to psychometrically profile people by using publicly available data including Facebook "likes"."[9]

In a report about Cambridge Analytica the Financial Times reported that "The UK’s data privacy watchdog is examining the use of voters’ personal data by analytics companies, to assess whether Britons’ data protection rights were breached during political campaigns such as the EU referendum."[10]


Dismembering Iraq

Nafeez Ahmed headlined an article in March 2017 that "a network tied to Cambridge Analytica, Islamist insurgents, ExxonMobil and Koch convinced Trump to let go of Iraqi unity."[11]


 

Groups Headquartered Here

GroupStart
Reason Foundation1968
StandWithUs2001

 

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References