Cambridge Analytica Execs Caught Discussing Extortion

What is Cambridge Analytica? The firm at the centre of Facebook’s latest data breach.

What is Cambridge Analytica? The firm at the centre of Facebook's data breach.

Published on Wired | By Issie Lapowsky

“These are things that, I mean, it sounds
a dreadful thing to say, but these are things
that don’t necessarily need to be true, as
long as they’re believed,”

Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix

In a series of undercover videos filmed over the last year, Britain's Channel 4 News caught executives at Cambridge Analytica appear to say they could extort politicians, send women to entrap them, and help proliferate propaganda to help their clients.

The sting operation was conducted as part of an ongoing investigation into Cambridge Analytica, a data consulting firm that worked for President Trump's 2016 campaign.

The video follows an investigation by The Guardian and The Observer, along with The New York Times, which revealed that Cambridge and its related company, SCL, harvested data on 50 million Facebook users, and may have kept it, despite promises to Facebook that they deleted the information in 2015. Cambridge and SCL have denied these accusations, and in a statement to Channel 4, the company also denied "any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes, or so-called 'honey-traps' for any purpose whatsoever."

The video evidence suggests otherwise.

In a series of five meetings and phone calls beginning in December 2017, a Channel 4 reporter posed as a fixer for a client they said was working to get candidates elected in Sri Lanka.

Read entire article Cambridge Analytica execs caught discussing extortion | Wired

WHAT IS CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA?

Cambridge Analytica is a company that offers services to businesses and political parties who want to “change audience behaviour”.

It claims to be able to analyse huge amounts of consumer data and combine that with behavioural science to identify people who organisations can target with marketing material. It collects data from a wide range of sources, including social media platforms such as Facebook, and its own polling.

With its headquarters in London, the firm was set up in 2013 as an offshoot of another company called SCL Group, which offers similar services around the world.

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