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Cambridge Analytica: The Data Firm's Global Influence
- Mar 21, 2018 -

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The company accused of using the personal data of millions of Facebook users to influence how people vote is 

not shy about its international portfolio.

Political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica is facing questions over whether it used personal data to sway the outcome of the 

US 2016 presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum.But its reach extends well beyond the UK and US, with its website 

boasting of supporting more than 100 campaigns across five continents.



As part of the Channel 4 investigation, executives said Cambridge Analytica and its parent company Strategic Communications 

Laboratories (SCL) had worked in more than 200 elections across the world, including in the Czech Republic.

"We've just used a different organisation to run a very, very successful project in an Eastern European country where... no-one 

even knew they were there," company executive Mark Turnbull said.Cambridge Analytica's website also says it was involved 

in political campaigning in Italy in 2012, on behalf of a "resurgent political party last successful in the 1980s".

"CA's suggested reforms allowed the party to perform beyond its initial expectations at a time of turbulence in Italian politics," it 

says.But the role of SCL goes back much further. It claims to have helped the Orange Revolution in 2004 in Ukraine which 

helped bring the pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko to power."SCL succeeded in maintaining the cohesion of the 

coalition to ensure a hard-fought victory," an old post on the SCL website reads.


More recently, SCL says it was hired by the Ukrainian government to provide "localised communications 

campaigns" to help them win back control of Donetsk during the conflict in eastern Ukraine."The final project report was 

delivered to the President of Ukraine...this report was pivotal in later national decisions," the company says.


Cambridge Analytica was used twice to help secure victory for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta - first in 2013, then again in 

2017.Officially, the company's website boasts of doing in-depth research to uncover the issues driving voters in the 

country.But Mr Turnbull told Channel 4 their input actually went much further.

"We have rebranded the entire party twice, written the manifesto, done research, analysis, messaging. I think we wrote all the 

speeches and we staged the whole thing - so just about every element of this candidate," he said.

  • Cambridge  Analytica's Kenya role queried

Mr Kenyatta's Jubilee Party has downplayed the impact of the group, saying it employed the company's parent company, SCL, 

to help with branding.But the country's main opposition coalition - the National Super Alliance (Nasa) - has called for a full 

investigation to be carried out."This was a criminal enterprise which clearly wanted to subvert the will of the people - through 

manipulation, through propaganda," official Norman Magaya told the BBC.



In July 2017, Cambridge Analytica revealed that it had teamed up with a phone app in Mexico and Colombia called Pig.gi, which 

gives users free service in exchange for watching adverts and taking surveys.The firm was hoping to use data mined from 

Pig.gi to help a candidate in Mexico's July 2018 presidential election, according to Bloomberg.

"There's a huge opportunity in this country to find the issues that are important for people and actually turn people out to vote," 

Cambridge Analytica's vice-president of business development, Brittany Kaiser, said., it was reported in October that the head 

of operations for Cambridge Analytica in Mexico, Arielle Dale Karro, had posted an advertisement on a Facebook page for 

foreigners living in the country.The post sought people "with significant political experience" who were interested in 

becoming a campaign manager in one of eight Mexican states, Buzzfeed reported.

Cambridge Analytica later denied that Ms Karro was carrying out any political work for the firm. Mr Nix also stated that 

"Cambridge Analytica is not working for any political party in Mexico".



Cambridge Analytica was reportedly "prospecting for clients in Brazil's presidential race" that is due to take place 

later this year.CA Ponte, a partnership between Cambridge Analytica and Brazilian consultancy firm Ponte Estrategia, "had 

been in touch with representatives of three potential candidates", according to Bloomberg.

The partnership's director André Torretta told the El Pais newspaper [in Portuguese] that he had been approached 

by two presidential campaigns but had not reached a deal with either.


Cambridge Analytica is part of the India branch of the SCL group which offers "political campaign management" among its 

services.It lists India's two main political parties - the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress - among its clients.

Himanshu Sharma, the firm's vice president says on his publicly available LinkedIn profile that the company has"successfully 

managed four election campaigns for the BJP".He names among them the 2014 general election which swept Prime 

Minister Narendra Modi to power.But the Congress party has told the BBC that it has never used SCL or any of its affiliate 

companies as it has its own data analytical team.



In the Channel 4 investigation, Malaysia was named as one of the countries in which Cambridge Analytica had operated.

A member of the country's opposition party is now calling on Prime Minister Najib Razak to reveal if he used the firm in the 2013 

general election."Prime Minister Najib Razak must explain if he used Cambridge Analytica to manipulate voters... and whether 

he is using unethical manipulation techniques in the upcoming [election]," Wan Saiful Wan Jan said in a statement.

Mr Razak has denied using the company, although its website says it supported his party "with a targeted messaging campaign 

highlighting their school improvements since 2008".