Explained: How Cambridge Analytica & it’s client Political Parties infringed our Right to Privacy?

The Website of CA reflect the organisation's aim on their page.

What is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica LLC (CA) is a secretly held organization that consolidates information mining, information business, and information investigation with key correspondence for the electoral process. It was made in 2013 as a branch of its British parent organization SCL Group to take an interest in American legislative issues. Cambridge Analytica is at the eye of a crisp information release contention as reports developed that the firm approached a large number of Facebook users’ personal data, which is utilized to recognize the identities of American voters and impact their conduct to help US president Donald Trump win decisions.

 

The Website of CA reflects the organisation’s aim on their page.

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scam: Here’s How it Helped Elect Donald Trump as US President

Cambridge Analytica starting in 2014 acquired information on 50 million Facebook users through implies that betrayed both the users and Facebook, the New York Times and London’s Observer announced, The information was gathered by an application created by a British scholastic, Aleksandr Kogan, the daily papers said. About 270,000 individuals downloaded the application and signed in with their Facebook certifications, as per Facebook. The application assembled their information and information about their companions, and after that Kogan passed the information to Cambridge Analytica, as indicated by both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.

Cambridge Analytica said that it didn’t at first know Kogan disregarded Facebook’s terms, and that it erased the information once it discovered in 2015. Kogan couldn’t be gone after the remark. The information, however, was not erased, the two daily papers announced that Cambridge Analytica said that the assertion was not valid. Facebook said it was exploring to confirm the exactness of the claim.

Cambridge Analytica markets itself as giving shopper explore focused on publicizing and other information related administrations to both political and corporate customers. It doesn’t list its corporate customers yet on its site depicts them as including an everyday daily paper that needed to find out about its supporters, a ladies’ apparel image that looked for investigating on its clients and a U.S. auto safety net provider intrigued by promoting itself.

 

Watch: Govt. Of Singapore Minister K Shanmugam asks Simon Milner, Vice President of Public Policy for Asia-Pacific, whether Facebook has been frank and upfront about the data breaches in the Cambridge Analytica case. The exchange took place at the 22 March hearing of the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods.

 

How CA helped in Bihar Assembly Pools?

CA on their website clearly mention the client case study as

CA was contracted to undertake an in-depth electorate analysis for the Bihar Assembly Election in 2010. The core challenge was to identify the floating/swing voters for each of the parties and to measure their levels electoral apathy, a result of the poor and unchanging condition of the state after 15 years of incumbent rule. In addition to the research phase, CA were tasked to organise the party base at the village level by creating a communication hierarchy to increase supporter motivation. Our client achieved a landslide victory, with over 90% of total seats targeted by CA being won.

The blame game starts BJP, Congress and Cambridge Analytica.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has dragged Congress into the debate blended by a London-based firm Cambridge Analytica, which is blamed for gathering private information from a huge number of Facebook profiles to impact and distinguish voter conduct.

BJP representative and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a public interview asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to confess all on the issue as he doubted the gathering’s relationship with a “maverick information examination firm.”

  • Economic Times report from October 2017 that uncovered that the Congress party had restricted in the questionable organization to run their 2019 and named it as their ‘Brahmastra’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • “As indicated by media reports, Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix has met a few restriction pioneers to plan discretionary procedure for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the following Lok Sabha elections. The organization has made an introduction to the Congress in which it nitty gritty the methodology to target voters on the web,” the report said.
  • Comparable proposals were made in a Hindustan Times report in an article distributed two days back, wherein it asserted that the firm has its eyes set on charming government officials in South Asia. Truth be told the report guaranteed that the firm was in contact with both Congress and the BJP.

“The firm, Cambridge Analytica (CA), and its India accomplice, Oveleno Business Intelligence (OBI) Private Limited, have addressed both the Congress and the BJP for a conceivable cooperation for their 2019 Lok Sabha elections it has had chats with the Congress and the BJP, with previous Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is making an offer to get re-elected in 2020, and with the Awami League, the decision party in Bangladesh, which is looking for re-race in 2019,” the Hindustan Times report said.

Mr Tyagi, in an interview to NDTV, said his firm had worked for the BJP in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, and had done work for the Youth Congress in Jharkhand between 2010 and 2011.

Cambridge Analytica’s website says the company provided its services during the Bihar election in 2010 to a political party in India.

 “Our client achieved a landslide victory, with over 90 per cent of the total seats targeted by CA being won,” it says. The Janata Dal United-BJP alliance had swept those elections.

Moreover, the publicly available LinkedIn page of one of the directors of Ovleno, Himanshu Sharma, states that he “managed four election campaigns successfully for the ruling party BJP” and “achieved the target of mission 272”.

The start date for Mr. Sharma’s association with Ovleno is 2013.

In the memorandum of association of Ovleno states their “main objectives” of the company to be “competitive business intelligence research, investigate and provide surveillance services and market survey to the industries and organization.”

It further went on to say he helped in “confidentially maintaining the database to be provided constituency wise to BJP candidate(s) as an additional support for national elections and state elections of Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi”.

“…let me make it very, very clear, we fully support freedom of press, speech and expression; we fully support free exchange of ideas on social media. But any attempt, covert or overt, by social media, including Facebook, of trying to influence India’s electoral process through undesirable means will neither be appreciated nor be tolerated,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a Press Conference

Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for the Facebook Data Leak involving Cambridge Analytica on his timeline.

On March 17, 2018, Facebook announced that Cambridge Analytica was suspended for violating the company’s standards and practices. TechRepublic’s Dan Patterson was one of the early reporters to write about Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 campaign. Patterson spoke with CBS News about how the data firm could have harvested so many Facebook profiles. The interview has been added to this article.

 

Can the blame game be ever stopped?

This game of blame is ever ending in the existing political parties until and unless one parties is proved wrong generally. we dont choose better political parties we choose the less bad parties in India. BJP accusing congress but it seems BJP and JDU too had links.

The Reactions:

There was only only a work relation between my son amrish’s company and #cambridgeanalytics, there is no financialtransaction or sharesholding everything is open to probe. JDU also has no links with this neither did they promote us in 2010 polls: KC TYAGI,JDU(ANI)

Name of the company out in this matter is BJP client list, run by KC Tyagi’s son is involved and JD(U) is saying that we do not know anything: tejaswi yadav, RJD

As bjp’s popularity is going down they are challenging facebook’s owner that he can be summoned. Govt should tell us that if they have power why cant they summon nirav modi, lalit modi and vijay mallya? : Tejashwi yadav, RJD.

We are a ground research company closely working with various media houses & not undertake any project with #cambridgeanalytica related to social media ( especially facebook) : himanshu Sharma, Vice president, ovleno business intelligence.

We believe in ethics & legal system of india. We are not denying our association with SCL/ #cambridgeanalytica (CA) : Himanshu Sharma, Vice president, ovleno business intelligence.

JDU has no relation with #cambridgeanalytica, neither has its CEO ever met nitish ji nor me. In case JDU is a socialist outfit and we step away from such things, except for prashant kishore ji helping us during last assembly polls : KC TYAGI, JDU.

 

A big blow to Right to Privacy

The ethical and moral dimension of the ongoing scandal is that: Should a British company be able to fly into an already heated political context halfway around the world and heavily influence political discourse for profit? Nix himself acknowledged in an interview with Tech Crunch last year that CA was well aware of the potential consequences of interfering in the Kenyan election. Shouldn’t there be consequences for a corporation that riles up dangerous ethnonationalist rhetoric purely for profit and then gets to leave without having to deal with the fallout? For CA, the Kenyan election was a revenue stream. For Kenyans, it was life or death. Shouldn’t some things be sacred?

The political consulting problem is more complex because the solution lies in changing the political culture around the world. It’s about destroying the idea that it’s okay to leave moral values behind when flying into developing countries to tilt the balance of political power towards tyranny. It lies in part in enforcing laws that restrict the way political parties in the developing world spend money.

Simply calling this irony doesn’t do the situation justice: a political party went on a crusade against neo-colonial interference while paying a British company to package and propagate that message. And the damage is much deeper than that.