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Arron Banks, the insurers and my strange data trail

The Guardian

If a 29-year-old Peugeot 309 is the answer, it's fair to wonder: what on earth is the question? In fact, I had no idea about either the question or the answer when I submitted a "subject access request" to Eldon Insurance Services in December last year. Or that my car – a vehicle that dates from the last millennium – could hold any sort of clue to anything. If there's one thing I've learned, however, in pursuing the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it's that however weird things look, they can always get weirder. Because I was simply seeking information, as I have for the last 16-plus months, about what the Leave campaigns did during the referendum – specifically, what they did with data.


British campaigners file US lawsuit against firms controlled by Arron Banks

#artificialintelligence

A British public interest group has filed a lawsuit in a Mississippi court against two companies controlled by Arron Banks, the pro-Brexit donor, following allegations that the firms may have violated UK data protection rules in an attempt to sway the 2016 vote to leave the EU. Fair Vote Project, a British activist group that is campaigning for changes to UK election rules, has launched the legal action against Eldon Insurance and a Bristol-based software development group, Big Data Dolphins. Fair Vote has asked a judge to permanently bar the firms from destroying any data that they might be holding in Mississippi. At the heart of the complaint is an allegation that the companies may have used data that had been mined in the UK and combined it with information that had been collected from Eldon Insurance, which sells car insurance in the UK. The suit further alleges that the data may have been brought to the University of Mississippi, where the companies sought to create their own version of Cambridge Analytica, the controversial firm that used data mined from social media networks to try to sway voters' behaviour.


U.K. Investigators Raid Cambridge Analytica Offices In London

NPR Technology

Officers from the Information Commissioner's Office enter the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London. The investigators had a search warrant as part of what has been reported to be a broader investigation into possible ties between Cambridge Analytica and the campaign for the U.K. Brexit referendum. Officers from the Information Commissioner's Office enter the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London. The investigators had a search warrant as part of what has been reported to be a broader investigation into possible ties between Cambridge Analytica and the campaign for the U.K. Brexit referendum. Investigators with Britain's information commissioner searched the London headquarters of Cambridge Analytica on Friday amid reports that the firm harvested the personal data of millions of Facebook users as part of a campaign to influence the U.S. 2016 presidential elections.


Facebook's Cambridge Analytica Scandal Shows the Price of Tech Utopia

WIRED

In the dawning days of the millennium, a great harvest was promised. A new class of young revolutionists, who saw the world as not yet living up to its grandeur and thus felt the duty to order it in their vision, vowed a season of abundance and grand prosperity. Among these strivers was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose pursuit--equal parts singular, noble, and naive--was to rewire communication. Beset by a pioneer spirit, Zuckerberg sculpted ambition into reality, upending the way we document, exchange, and consume information. In doing so, he has in part revolutionized the capacity of human potential.


Facebook told 'enough is enough' by advertisers as backlash against Cambridge Analytica scandal mounts

The Independent - Tech

Facebook has been warned that "enough is enough" by top advertisers as the company faces an increasing backlash from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. UK ad industry representatives will meet with Facebook's European vice president Steve Hatch on Friday to demand answers from Facebook about allegations that millions of profiles were harvested and used to influence voters. Trade body ISBA, which represents more than 3,000 brands, wants a full account of what happened as well as reassurances over how users' personal data is secured. If Facebook cannot instil confidence that people's personal data is safe, advertisers will start threatening to pull their content from the platform, the boss of one of the UK's highest-profile ad agencies said on Thursday. "I don't think they're bluffing.