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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Cambrige Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie tweets details of India operations
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Cambrige Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie tweets details of India operations

In a post on Twitter, Christopher Wylie said Janata Dal (United) was Cambridge Analytica client for 2010 Bihar elections and brought up some caste surveys carried out in Uttar Pradesh by SCL India

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie had on Tuesday said he believed Congress had links with the data firm. Photo: AFPPremium
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie had on Tuesday said he believed Congress had links with the data firm. Photo: AFP

London: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie on Wednesday tweeted details of the Indian activities of analytics company SCL, a day after he told a UK parliamentary committee investigating the issue of fake news that India’s Congress party was one of the clients of the analytics firm.

SCL, formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories, is the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

“I’ve been getting a lot of requests from Indian journalists, so here are some of SCL’s past projects in India. To the most frequently asked question—yes SCL/CA works in India and has offices there. This is what modern colonialism looks like," Wylie tweeted.

According to Wylie, SCL India has a database of over 600 districts and 7 lakh villages of India, which is regularly updated. A list of election campaigns since 2003 for which SCL conducted research has also been disclosed in his tweet.

Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of the Facebook data breach controversy where data of 50 million users in the US was compromised to benefit Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign in 2016.

In the 2012 Uttar Pradesh elections, SCL India carried out research including analysis of caste structure and dynamics within the state leading to conclusions regarding the identification of a party’s core voters as well as likely swing voters, Wylie claimed.

“In the 2007 Uttar Pradesh election, SCL India carried out a full political survey on behalf of a major party. The research included a party audit and statewide census of politically active individuals using in-depth interviews to assess the satisfaction levels of party workers at booth level," his statement said.

Wylie, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, also claimed that in the 2009 general elections, SCL India managed the campaigns of a number of Lok Sabha candidates.

“Our services help clients to identify and target key groups within the population to effectively influence their behaviour to realize a desired outcome," he added.

The analytics firm had also conducted research to provide insights on various aspects related to election campaigns held in 2007 in the states of Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Psephological studies and behavioural polling in Delhi and Chhattisgarh are among its projects, Wylie claimed.

After Wylie’s testimony on Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked the Congress to apologize to the nation for alleged data theft and trying to manipulate voters.

Last week, the BJP had accused the Congress of indulging in “theft of online data" to help with its election campaigns. Congress had denied the charges

Cambridge Analytica called Wylie’s statement “speculation".

“Chris Wylie has misrepresented himself and the company to the committee, and previously to the news media. He admits himself that what he says is speculation… He was a part-time contractor who left Cambridge Analytica in July 2014 and has no direct knowledge of the company’s work or practices since that date," the analytics firm said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Published: 28 Mar 2018, 10:42 PM IST
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