Cambridge Analytica is back on the headlines and not for the good reasons. The New York Times and The Observer returned the company back on the global stage. The Parent Company, Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL group) had been suspended by Facebook.
The firm has been in the limelight for its controversial use of data in the US and Kenya elections and more so Kenyan election. According to a whistle blower who worked with the data firm, Christopher Wylie a whooping 1 million dollars was used in the harvesting of data meant to influence the digital campaign for the Trump Election campaign in 2016.
The election turned out to be one of the most divisive and shocking election after George Bush vs Al Gore in 2000. If you read up on the case study of the firm and how they handled the 2016 US election campaign for Donald Trump you will find a few things interesting.
Analyzing millions of data points, we consistently identified the most persuadable voters and the issues they cared about. We then sent targeted messages to them at key times in order to move them to action. All of this was achieved in a fraction of the time and at a much lower cost than was spent by our rivals.
With our help, your campaign can use these same intelligent targeting and sophisticated messaging techniques. Cambridge Analytica deployed three integrated teams to support the campaign: research, data science, and digital marketing. – Cambridge Analytica case study for Donald Trump election
The use of data was tantamount in making sure that they have gotten a strategy to make sure that they have won it for the Trump Campaign. Though at the time they claimed to have been permitted by Facebook it was evident that they extracted 50 million accounts which they used to influence the election and shape ideology for the Trump Campaign.
It’s involvement in the 2013 and 2017 election in Kenya for the Uhuru Kenyatta campaign is also questioned. In the Standard as they carried out the story of the suspension of Cambridge Analytica from Facebook they questioned the involvement of the company in our last two general elections.
Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Kenyan politics is reported to have begun in 2013, when it worked for President Uhuru’s the National Alliance party (TNA). During that closely contested campaign, it correlated online data with nearly 47,000 on-ground surveys. According to the information they posted on their website, the data allowed it to create a profile of the country’s electorate and tailored campaign strategy for the contestants. Come 2017 polls, London-based Privacy International in a report said Cambridge Analytica engineered divisive social media campaigns in the country. Two websites – one highlighting the achievements of President Uhuru Kenyatta ‘Uhuru for us’ and the other attacking NASA leader Raila Odinga ‘Real Raila’ – shared an IP address with a company linked to Cambridge Analytica, the report stated.
When the August 8 elections were annulled by the Supreme Court, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, described the polls as “a project” of Cambridge Analytica. She was speaking during a morning show on US National Public Radio. “You know, the Kenya election was just overturned and really what’s interesting about that — and I hope somebody writes about it, Terry (NPR host) — the Kenyan election was also a project of Cambridge Analytica, the data company owned by the Mercer family that was instrumental in the Brexit vote,” she said. However, Jubilee party distanced itself from the hate campaigns, maintaining they were running their campaigns internally. Cambridge Analytica worked for the failed presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and then for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. They are also linked to Brexit campaigns.- Standard Media
The Star also questioned the involvement of the company in the Kenyan Election and whether it has harvested data to shape the 2013 and 2017 General Election. However there are glaring discrepancies as to whether Jubilee Party has ever responded to its involvement with the company.
This is the question on many people’s mind after reports emerged that a firm hired by Jubilee Party mined Facebook data to shape Donald Trump’s election as US president.
Uhuru’s party has never denied or admitted hiring Cambridge Analytica but there is credible information that its parent company – Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) was involved in its campaigns
The Guardian of the UK has reported that 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica for the US elections in a major data breach.
A Whistleblower describes how firm linked to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon compiled user data to target American voters.
The whistleblower told the Observer how Cambridge Analytica used personal information taken without authorisation in 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters.
This information was then used to target them with personalised political advertisements. The Star Kenya
The glaring questions that now arise in the entire debacle for the Kenyan media is. Did Cambridge Analytica mine information? And also did it shape the space of Kenya’s election.