Ex-employee of British consultancy says “the company has an office in India”
The Hush Post: An ex-employee of the Cambridge Analytica, has revealed that the consultancy, that has an office in India, has worked “extensively” there and it had “possibly” worked for the Congress including other political parties.
While deposing before the UK lawmakers on Tuesday, Wylie said that CA equated to a group of modern colonisers that don’t care what is legal or what is not unless it gets the job done, India Today online reported on Tuesday.
While giving more details, Wylie mentioned the name of Congress as one of the parties that possibly worked with CA. “I believe their client was Congress but I know that they have done all kinds of project. I don’t remember a national project but I know regionally. India’s so big that one state can be as big as Britain. But they do have offices there, they do have staff,” he reportedly said. He reportedly added that he might have documentary proof of CA’s activities in India.
In his testimony against CA and its alleged role in propagating a culture of fake news and disinformation, Wylie submitted before the digital, culture, media and sport committee in the House of Commons. Cambridge Analytica is accused of harvesting more than 50 million user profiles on Facebook with the help of academic researcher Aleksandr Kogan, without any consent from users, allegedly playing a role in the 2016 US presidential election, seeing Donald Trump through victory, the report said.
In context of India, which the lawmaker said, was Facebook’s largest market, Wylie said in affirmation that CA worked in India. “India is Facebook’s biggest market, it is a country that is rife with political discord and opportunities to destabilise,” said the UK lawmaker which prompted Wylie’s reply.
“They (CA) worked extensively in India, they have an office (there),” Wylie reportedly said. The deposition is still going on and more details related to the alleged CA operations in India may come up, the report stated.
Even though a concrete evidence is yet to surface whether the consultancy worked in India, both the ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress have levelled allegations and counter allegations against each other of having used the services of the notorious consultancy that allegedly influenced and “hacked” elections all over world.
The upstart allegedly had a role to play in the 2016 US presidential election, seeing Donald Trump through victory. The upstart allegedly also had a role to play in Brexit or Britain’s infamous Exit from the European Union. Wylie’s confirmation suggests the company may have had a role to play influencing the electoral process in other parts of the world as well, including in India, the report said.
Cambridge Analytica had served as Donald Trump’s data operations team during the 2016 election. The upstart has been accused of harvesting more than 50 million user profiles on Facebook with the help of academic researcher Aleksandr Kogan. Without any consent from users. It was a data breach like no other.
Facebook, however, has different point of view. “The claim that this is a data breach is completely false. Aleksandr Kogan requested and gained access to information from users who chose to sign up to his app, and everyone involved gave their consent. People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked,” Paul Grewal, VP & deputy general counsel at Facebook recently said in a blog post. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had reportedly termed it a breach of trust.
The House of Commons has even urged Zuckerberg to testify and Facebook is expected to send Chris Cox, who is its chief product officer, to London in the first week after the Easter recess, for the same.