The Associated Press has revealed that former Cambridge Analytica (CA) employees are working on the reelection campaign of Donald Trump. The report comes at a time when the dust is yet to settle after recent reports of data scandal involving CA and Facebook.
Four former employees are said to be working under a new company called Data Propria. The group also includes CA’s former head of product and its former data scientist. Shockingly enough, Data Propria’s parent company is partially owned by President Trump’s 2020 campaign manager called Brad Pasrscale.
Data Propria is planning to use similar Psychographic microtargeting techniques as the 2016 elections and the Brexit campaign. The way the Associated Press reporters are said to have overheard Matt Oczkowski (former head of product of CA) talking about his collaboration with Parscale on the reelection campaign.
However, when questioned about Data Propria’s association with Trump’s campaign Oczwokowski denied the reports saying that the company did not have any intention to on the lookout for out any political clients. When Data Propria’s PR representatives contradicted Oczwokowski’s statement he is said to have partly conceded. Parscale, on the other hand confirmed that he had assisted Data Propria to secure The Republic National Committee contract but he denied being working on the President’s next election campaign.
CA shut down in May after months of fallout following the revelations that it was using data of over 50 million people without their knowledge to effect American and British politics.CA is reported to have bought the data from a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan who accessed Facebook profile details through a quiz. The quiz also accessed the information of the friends of the test takers. Facebook has later confirmed the news saying a whopping 87 million users were affected by the data leak.
Facebook’s policies preclude the buying and the selling of data. However back when Kogan collected the data through the quiz, Facebook permitted collecting the data of the app users’ connections. The policy was altered in 2014.
Despite learning about the breach in 2015 Facebook did not notify its users which drew flak from lawmakers around the globe. Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the Members of European Parliament and the US congress.CA was asked by Facebook to destroy the data which it never did.
Manipulating Voters through data leaks has become a major issue in all election campaigns. It is unlikely that this is cease anytime soon with the fresh reports of many data consulting firms who will continue to play a big role in the next Presidential elections.