Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, has informed the European Parliament that the influence of Cambridge Analytica on the Brexit vote has rendered the results to be illegitimate.
Wylie is a former employee of the data marketing company. He recently revealed how the firm made use of the personal information that was harvested from millions of users of Facebook to build software that is designed to influence the political choices of the users.
On Monday, while talking to MEPs in Brussels, he said that a “privacy crisis” had driven the European Union to lose one of its biggest member states.
He stated: “Cambridge Analytica may have dissolved but the European Union and its citizens will feel the impact for a generation.”
He added: “I do not believe Brexit would have happened if it were not for the data targeting technologies and the network of actors set up by Cambridge Analytica.
“I also do not believe the Brexit result was won fairly or legitimately.”
He said that it is “almost certain” that the electoral and data protection rules were mocked by the official Leave campaign. However, he said that the full facts are being covered by Facebook.
He continued: “If this occurred in Nigeria or Zimbabwe, the EU would demand a re-run of the vote. Perhaps we should hold the UK to the same standard.”
Wylie addressed a special committee meeting of the European Parliament as part of the investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal which also saw the MEPs scrutinise Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.
Responding to the comments of Wylie, Petr Jezek, the Czech MEP, stated: “What we’ve heard about Brexit, it seems to me like the robbery of the century.”
However, Gerard Batten, the UKIP leader, and MEP, argued that the Cambridge Analytica scandal was being utilised to try and stop Brexit from pushing through.
He told the meeting: “During the referendum campaign, I was out every single day talking to what must have been hundreds if not thousands of people everyday face to face.”
He added: “Not one of them then, nor anyone since on whatever side of the vote, has said to me that they were influenced in any way, shape or form by anything they saw on social media.
“This whole thing is about the remain establishment doing everything they possibly can to reverse the referendum decision.”
The Guardian journalist who released the news of the scandal, Carole Cadwalladr, insisted that it was “not a partisan issue” and said that Batten was burying his head in the sand.
She addressed the MEP directly, saying: “This is about the integrity of our democracy, about our national sovereignty and I would think that you would have an interest in that also.”