British and U.S. lawmakers announced they will begin investigating data science company Cambridge Analytica after exposés in The New York Times, The Observer, and Channel 4 alleged the misuse of data from 50 million Facebook users. (ReadWikiTribune’s coverage of this story.)
The main opposition in Kenya, where the company was active in the country’s 2013 election, called for a full investigation into the company. The UK’s Information Commissioner is seeking a warrant to search the offices of Cambridge Analytica. The company denies any wrongdoing.
However, the firm has been active in numerous locations, by its own account:
During a meeting with undercover Channel 4 reporters, company executives said Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), had engaged in more than 200 elections worldwide, ranging from Nigeria, Kenya, Malaysia the Czech Republic, India, and Argentina (C4). Cambrige Analytica managing director Mark Turnbull said: “We’ve done it in Mexico, we’ve done it in Malaysia. We’re now moving into Brazil … Australia, China.”
On its website, Cambridge Analytica says it “uses data to change audience behavior”. The objective of its political division is to “find your voters and move them to action,” and on its website the company also claims to have supported over 100 campaigns across five continents – including the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the campaign for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, or Brexit (The Guardian).
We need your help to cover Cambridge Analytica’s operations in other countries
Here are some questions we’d like you to answer:
- Has Cambridge Analytica operated in your country?
- What elections has Cambridge Analytica operated in, in what countries, and for what purpose?
- How does the company measure success?
- How does it gather data points on voters, other than through Facebook?