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Cambridge Analytica – Part 3

Now we head to the Great White North, Canada for the final piece of the puzzle. Christopher Wiley was the Director of Research at Cambridge Analytica who is the whistle blower. Zachary Massingham and Jeffery Silvester are the principals in the Victoria, British Columbia-based business AggregateIQ (AIQ). All three are Canadians and Wiley tried to hire Silvester for Cambridge Analytica.

The CBC has a rather thorough look at AIQ: Everything you need to know about AggregateIQ, the Canadian tech company with ties to Brexit and Ted Cruz

Technically, AIQ worked for Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) doing fairly benign political consulting:

AIQ’s job was to create a constituent relationship management system, or CRM, which would allow the party to manage and communicate with its supporters. As part of the job, AIQ was tasked with harvesting browsing history, social media data and IP addresses that could be linked to home addresses or census data — in short, behavioural data that would “contribute to the development of psychographic profiling in the region,” a copy of the contract with SCL reads.

This was for a political party in Trinidad and Tobago, So they could get data from public sources, or buy it at a reasonable cost.

When you start attempting to gather “psychographic” data on the US or UK things get a lot slower and more expensive, which is where the Facebook data comes in – CA got the data from Kogan for $1 million or 87 people per dollar. Having worked with mass mailers, that is really cheap and all the mailers were getting were verified names and addresses.

The CBC reports that AIQ is now under investigation: Federal privacy watchdog joins U.K. and B.C. counterparts in probe of possible Brexit tampering. That would be the privacy watchdogs for Canada, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom and only deals with the company’s work on the Brexit vote. There doesn’t appear to be much interest by American officials looking at what AIQ did for various Republican campaigns in the US in 2014 or 2016.

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