Cambridge Analytica whistleblower's evidence made public by British lawmakers

Saul Bowman
April 3, 2018

Wylie worked as a data analytics expert at CA and blew the lid off the unfair methods by which it collected data, such as mining personal information of Facebook users without their consent or knowledge.

It turns out that Camebridge Analytica (CA), the British political consulting firm which has been accused of gathering 50 million Facebook users in the United States to influence the 2016 Presidential election and over which the BJP and the Congress are engaged in a spat, had worked extensively in India and snooped on Keralites as well.

In a recent appearance before British Parliament, ex-Cambridge programmer Christopher Wylie shocked delegates by stating that he had no doubt that his former employer had manipulated the Brexit referendum and the 2016 U.S. presidential election and broken the law.

"I have been getting a lot of requests from Indian journalists, so here are some of SCL's past projects in India".

In a tweet accompanying the documents, Wylie likened the firm's work in India to "modern day colonialism". Wylie said SCL India has a database of 600 districts and seven lakh villages.

One of SCL's former India partners, Avneesh Kumar Rai, said in an interview that the documents that Wylie tweeted Wednesday misrepresented SCL's activities in India.

Its reach in India is said to include a head office in Ghaziabad, with nine regional offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cuttack, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Patna and Pune. "SCL undertook a behavioural research programme targeting over 75% of households to assist the client in not only identifying the correct battlegrounds, but also the right audiences, messages and most importantly the right castes to target with their campaigns", the document says. It also worked for a national party in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh elections. Apparently, the list is known to have been "passed around using generic, non-corporate email systems, outside of the servers of Cambridge Analytica, and linked company SCL". "Our services help clients target key groups within the population to influence their behaviour to realise a desired outcome", says one of the documents shared on Twitter. In which, he claimed his company "demanded" that both Cambrige Analytica and the researcher who obtained the data in the first place "formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data".

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