Updated: Cambridge Analytica data leak expands to 87 million known users, is NC Republican Party still using data at center of #deletefacebook scandal?
Last night, Wired reported that the scope of the Cambridge Analytica data leak is nearly twice as large as previously described:
“Facebook now says the data firm Cambridge Analytica gained unauthorized access to up to 87 million users' data, mainly in the United States. This figure is far higher than the 50 million users that were previously reported.” (Wired, 4/4/18)
The firm is at the center of the nation-wide #deletefacebook scandal that is the subject of official government probes for privacy breaches in three different countries, including the US.
Facebook stock prices had just stabilized after the largest drop in the company’s history and could dip down again as the company mishandles the response to the expanding crisis.
Recent reports from North Carolina have revealed that local races here, including the 2014 US Senate campaign of Thom Tillis, may have been the beta test by the firm for using compromised data to target voters – all while employing foreign nationals embedded in Raleigh:
“British contractors from Cambridge Analytica were "all over" state Republican Party offices in the closing months of North Carolina's 2014 U.S. Senate election, according to sources close to the party…These would have been among the dozens of non-U.S. citizens The Washington Post has reported Cambridge Analytica assigned to GOP campaigns in the U.S. in 2014. Federal election regulations limit the role foreign nationals can play in U.S. campaigns. Wylie and anonymous former Cambridge Analytica employees have also accused the company of using ill-gotten private information from more than 50 million Facebook users to build voter profiles that then were used to target political messages.”
The state Republican Party and Tillis campaign have offered conflicting stories about the role of Cambridge Analytica staff embedded in Raleigh and Dallas Woodhouse, the Executive Director of the state Republican Party has seemingly confirmed NC Republicans still have access to the compromised data at the center of the scandal as part of their “aggregate data file”:
“In 2014, the NCGOP used I-360, RNC data, Cambridge, and voter records from the North Carolina Board of Elections – all of which goes into an aggregate data file that we control and decide what to do with.”
We’ll continue to update this developing story as new facts become available.