Ex-Cambridge Analytica Insider: Firm Worked for Pro-Brexit Group

By Cambridge Analytica via Wikimedia Commons

On Friday, the Guardian reported that a former political consultant of Cambridge Analytica said that the management of the company misled the British public regarding the work that the firm did for a pro-Brexit group prior to the vote to withdraw from the European Union.

A business development director who worked at the company from 2014 until earlier in  2018, Brittany Kaiser, said during an interview that Cambridge Analytica was carrying out analysis work and data crunching for Leave.EU, while denying that it was doing so publicly.

The insider account places more pressure on the data analytics firm that is based in London, which is already experiencing renewed investigation in the United States and Europe regarding allegations that it improperly harvested data from Facebook to target the voters in the United States.

Late on Friday, a judge from the High Court granted an application by the Office of the UK Information Commissioner for a warrant to search the offices of Cambridge Analytica.

In a statement, the data protection watchdog said that it plans to execute the said warrant shortly to confirm that the company has already deleted data from approximately 50 million profiles in Facebook, which a whistleblower has claimed that it failed to do.

Kaiser acted as a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica before and after the referendum in 2016. She said that she was ordered by the company to deny that the company was involved with the issue on Brexit.

In a videotaped interview with the Guardian, Kaiser stated: “I was quite confident that real work was being undertaken.”

She stated: “No, we didn’t run the whole campaign and maybe our work wasn’t used, but when I talked to the press we were actually undertaking data work and analysis for Leave.EU.”

In February, Alexander Nix, the Chief Executive of Cambridge Analytica, denied to a parliamentary committee that the company worked for Leave.EU. He only said that his firm had met with the campaign group to talk about potential business. However, they were not able to reach a deal.

He said to a committee that is investigating fake news in UK politics: “Let me be absolutely crystal clear about this. I do not know how many ways I can say this. We did not work for Leave.EU. We have not undertaken any paid or unpaid work for them, okay?”

Last Tuesday, the board of directors of Cambridge Analytica suspended Nix shortly before a British broadcaster from Channel 4 aired an expose of the business practices of the firm in the United States.

A major donor to Leave.EU, Arron Banks, wrote in “The Bad Boys of Brexit,” a campaign diary that he published after the Brexit campaign, that the group had hired the services of Cambridge Analytica on the 22nd of October, 2015 to make use of the ‘big data and advanced psychographics to influence people.’