Cambridge Analytica company used hacked data in 'privatized colonizing operation:' whistleblower

Cambridge Analytica company used hacked data in 'privatized colonizing operation:' whistleblower

The controversy over the British-based data mining company, Cambridge Analytica, which faces allegations of using the personal data of millions of Facebook followers to influence the US election, is reverberating in India, which is due to hold national elections next year.

"Last week showed how much more work we need to do to enforce our policies and help people understand how Facebook works and the choices they have over their data", said Erin Egan, Facebook's vice president and chief privacy officer, said.

"I don't remember a national project, but I know regionally, I mean, India...is so big that, you know, one state can be, you know, as big as Britain", Christopher Wylie, a Canadian whistleblower who was the former director of research at CA, said while deposing in front of the British Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

"It is what modern day colonialism looks like", he told the MPs.

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.

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SCL stands for Strategic Communications Laboratories, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

Appearing before the United Kingdom parliament on Monday, Wylie had said in response to a British lawmaker's question on SCL's involvement in India, "I believe their client was Congress but I know that they've done all kinds of projects, both regional- I don't think they've done, I don't remember a national project but I know regionally".

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

Christopher Wylie says Cambridge Analytica "don't care whether or not its legal as long as it gets the job done". They do have staff there. One report stated that Tyagi had "accompanied Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix and his team while they were in Delhi".

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. He worked for the company from June 2013 to July 2014. However, as Recode notes, the Cambridge Analytica leak was not through a Partner Categories association, but rather because a developer chose to sell user information to a third party. "Congress and Rahul Gandhi must now apologize", Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

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The government on Wednesday sent another notice to social media giant Facebook to respond by April 7 seeking further information on whether personal data of Indian voters and users has been compromised by data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

The SCL India carried out research for a "major state party" in Rajasthan in 2003.

A report in the Bucharest Herald at the time of his death said he was a 32 year-old LSE graduate, who had coordinated election campaigns in Europe, Africa and the US. In 2007 it worked in Uttar Pradesh elections and in the same year, it did a research communication campaign to support a trans-national programme in Kerala, Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and UP simultaneously.

Facebook has announced a raft of new changes to its privacy settings, designed around giving users greater control of their data and what they share with Facebook and with others.

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