Facebook Brexit Scandal

Facebook Brexit Scandal

Editor: Vlad Rothstein | Tactical Investor

Facebook Brexit Scandal

Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced data analytics firm, conducted work for the Leave EU campaign and the United Kingdom Independence Party ahead of the 2016 referendum on European Union membership, according to a former Cambridge Analytica official.

The revelation — outlined in internal emails between the data analytics firm and the political groups and submitted on Tuesday to the British parliament — contrasts with repeated denials by both Leave.EU and UKIP that they used Cambridge Analytica to target voters during the Brexit ballot.

“I have strong reasons to believe that those datasets and analyzed data processed by Cambridge Analytica as part of Phase 1 payable work engagement … were later used by the Leave.EU campaign without Cambridge Analytica’s further assistance,” Kaiser wrote to Damian Collins, the head of the U.K. parliament’s digital, culture, media and sport committee, which has held a series of hearings into the matter over the past 18 months. Full story

The Facebook Brexit Scandal Saga

As the commissioner put it on BBC Radio 4’s Today this morning, elegantly distilling the case against the company: “In 2014 and 2015, the Facebook platform allowed an app … that ended up harvesting 87m profiles of users around the world that was then used by Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 presidential campaign and in the referendum.” (Later the commissioner issued a “clarification”, distinguishing between the US and Brexit cases: “We know that Cambridge Analytica were working on aspects of the US election political process. However we are still looking at allegations that Facebook data was used as part of the referendum campaign, and this forms part of the next phase of our ongoing investigation.”)

It’s now understood that Vote Leave may have broken electoral law, by violating campaign spending limits. It’s also known that Leave.EU misled MPs about its true connections with Russia: the group’s founder Arron Banks told a parliamentary inquiry he had had “two or three” meetings with the Russian ambassador to London – having long insisted his sole contact with the official was one “boozy lunch” – and on Sunday my Observer colleague, Carole Cadwalladr, revealed that Leave.EU, in fact, met Russian embassy officials as many as 11 times ahead of and just after the Brexit vote. Full Story

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