Controversial firm Cambridge Analytica influenced elections in more that 68 countries, leaked documents have now indicated.
Already, part of over 100,000 documents have started leaking detailing how the company was involved in a massive voter manipulation in the countries, including in the US and Kenya.
In one of the email conversations leaked from the firm, the firm demonstrates to potential clients how they manipulated several voters such as the case of Senate candidates in Arkansas, North Carolina and New Hampshire in US.
“We collaborated with Bolton on a digital and TV advertising campaign centred on three states (New Hampshire, North Carolina and Arkansas) and used our psychographic data to create ads targeting people based on their personalities,” wrote Robert Murtfeld, Cambridge Analytica director of commercial sales.
The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower.
Cambridge has been working in the limelight after it emerged that it had illegally mined personal data of over 87 million Facebook accounts, and used it to device political messages targeted to individuals.
The data mining company is also said to have influenced the brexit vote in UK, working for the Leave.EU campaign and the United Kingdom Independence Party ahead of the 2016 referendum.
“The fact remains that chargeable work was done by Cambridge Analytica, at the direction of Leave.EU and UKIP executives, despite a contract never being signed,” revealed Kaiser.
In another letter sent to Brandon Muir, Alexander Nix of SCL Group, a private British behavioural research and strategic communication company, suggested that they could sell modelled data from for four speciﬁc communities for $15k (Ksh1.5 million).
“Please understand that given our shared ‘parentage’, we wish only the best for you and Reclaim, but even at $15k for modelled data, there is no proﬁt margin in this project for CA. If in the the future you wish to increase the scope of your work, there are signiﬁcant economies of scale that can be applied to reduce the unit cost of a potential target individual,” said Mr Nix.
According to Kaiser, the Facebook data scandal was part of a much bigger global operation that worked with governments, intelligence agencies, commercial companies and political campaigns to manipulate and influence people.
The company is said to have developed a sophisticated infrastructure of shell companies that were designed to funnel dark money into politics, like in the case of Ukraine in 2017.
“There’s evidence of really quite disturbing experiments on American voters, manipulating them with fear-based messaging, targeting the most vulnerable, that seems to be continuing. This is an entire global industry that’s out of controlbut what this does is lay out what was happening with this one company,” say Kaiser.
Cambridge Analytica shut down in May 2018, after te scandal exploded.