Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Facebook data used by Cambridge Analytica may still be around

New York. Facebook’s CEO apologized for the Cambridge Analytica scandal with ads in multiple U.S. and Briti Several Indian political parties used Cambridge Analytica: whistleblower
Allan Lindsey | 30 March, 2018, 00:50

After alleging Cambridge Analytica's link with Congress, whistle-blower Christopher Wylie today revealed CA's India operation details in association with SCL group.

Even after SCL UK's partnership with Avneesh Rai collapsed, and SCL India became a defunct company, SCL UK and Cambridge Analytica have continued to claim they worked on these election campaigns in India.

Former Lib Dem colleague Ben Rathe had a less complementary description of Wylie, tweeting that he "thinks he's Edward Snowden, when he's actually Walter Mitty" - a reference to a fictional character with a vivid fantasy life.

Instantly recognisable with his pink hair and nose ring, Christopher Wylie claims to have helped create data analysis company Cambridge Analytica before turning whistleblower and becoming "the face" of the crisis engulfing Facebook.

Wylie added that the Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), Cambridge Analytica's parent firm, has a database of seven lakh villages in 600 districts of India which is constantly updated.

In 2003 Rajasthan elections A major state party contracted SCL India to carry out two pieces of work, one internal and aimed at assessing the party's organisational strength (party audit), the other external and looking at the nature of the voting population, and more particularly, the attitudes and behaviours of politically-active individuals within the state.

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Slide decks and promotional material released by Wylie show that SCL allegedly influenced elections pan India and across party lines. Tyagi has pointed out that Cambridge Analytica's tactics were not used in their India campaigns, that they (CA and SCL) had yet to make a mark in India and that SCL did not help out OBI in any "digital capacity". Wylie, on Tuesday, stated that he believed "Congress was a client" of CA.

Wylie tweeted that he had been getting a lot of requests from Indian journalists to disclose SCL's past projects in India.

On a corner of one of the slides is the term "SCL India". They do have staff there. "After Facebook contacted us in December 2015 we deleted all [acquired] data and took appropriate steps to ensure that any copies of the data were deleted", the company said in a statement provided to Channel 4.

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. In 2017, Cambridge Analytica also partnered with Pig.gi, a Spanish-language app that gave free internet access to people in Mexico and Colombia - both of which have presidential elections this year - in exchange for reading news stories, watching ads, and taking surveys, Bloomberg reported last summer. Other work included the 2003 Madhya Pradesh elections for a "national party" and electoral research and strategy for the JD (U) during the Bihar elections in 2010.

"They [Cambridge Analytica] worked extensively in India". He contends that the data of 50 million Facebook users was harvested and used to "build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box", the Observer article said.

Wylie believes that it is "very reasonable" to say that CA's activities may have swung the Brexit vote, although he stressed he was not anti-Facebook, anti-social media or anti-data.

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