Facebook has dangling a Canadian information organisation that played a pivotal purpose in a debate for a UK to leave a EU.
The amicable media hulk pronounced AggregateIQ (AIQ) might have improperly perceived users’ data.
It cites reported links with a primogenitor association of Cambridge Analytica (CA), a consultancy indicted of improperly accessing a information of millions.
AIQ denies ever being partial of CA, a primogenitor association SCL or accessing improperly performed Facebook data.
The Vote Leave debate paid AIQ £2.7m ($3.8m) forward of a 2016 EU referendum.
An ex-volunteer with a debate has also claimed Vote Leave donated £625,000 to another organisation to get around debate spending limits, with many of a income going to AIQ. Vote Leave has denied any wrongdoing.
AIQ’s website once quoted Vote Leave arch Dominic Cummings saying: “Without a doubt, a Vote Leave debate owes a good understanding of a success to a work of AggregateIQ. We couldn’t have finished it though them.” The quote has given been removed.
In total, AIQ was given £3.5m by groups campaigning for Brexit, including Vote Leave, a Democratic Unionist Party and Veterans for Britain. The UK’s Electoral Commission reopened an investigation into Vote Leave’s debate spending in November.
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“In light of new reports that AggregateIQ might be dependent with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly perceived FB user data, we have combined them to a list of entities we have dangling from a height while we investigate,” a Facebook orator said.
“Our inner examination continues, and we will co-operate entirely with any investigations by regulatory authorities.”
In a summary posted to a website, AIQ says it is “100% Canadian owned and operated” and “has never been and is not a partial of Cambridge Analytica or SCL”.
It adds: “Aggregate IQ has never managed, nor did we ever have entrance to, any Facebook information or database allegedly performed improperly by Cambridge Analytica.”
It also denied ever contracting Chris Wylie, a Canadian whistleblower who purported that a information of 50m people was improperly common with Cambridge Analytica. Facebook has given pronounced a series of people influenced could be closer to 87m. CA says it performed a information of no some-more than 30m people and has deleted all of it.
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Analysis by record match Rory Cellan-Jones
It was 3 weeks ago that Facebook dangling Cambridge Analytica only hours before a whistleblower’s revelations to a Observer journal triggered a stream liaison over crude use of data.
Christopher Wylie insisted that Aggregate IQ was closely related to Cambridge Analytica, and granted papers to a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport name cabinet that he pronounced valid it.
Now Facebook’s preference to postpone a Canadian organisation from a height appears to give serve validation to Mr Wylie’s claims. It also throws a spotlight behind onto a intensity use of Facebook information during a Brexit campaign.
Facebook says it is looking into either a information that Cambridge Analytica acquired improperly from as many as 87 million people – 1 million of them in a UK – finished adult with Aggregate IQ. The organisation worked for both Vote Leave and BeLeave during a EU referendum campaign, though has always insisted it has never been a partial of Cambridge Analytica, and has not had entrance to any of a Facebook data.
AIQ is a tiny association handling out of Victoria, British Columbia. It uses information to assistance micro-target electorate and was founded by dual Canadian domestic staffers.
Apart from a Brexit work a association has also been indicted by Mr Wylie of distributing “incredibly anti-Islamic” calm on amicable media forward of a 2015 Nigerian presidential choosing to disprove Muslim antithesis claimant Muhammadu Buhari, who went on to win a contest.
The BBC has approached AIQ for a response to a Nigeria allegations.
Mr Wylie has pronounced that AIQ was referred to among Cambridge Analytica staff as “our Canadian office”. He told a Guardian he helped to set adult a organisation as a “Canadian entity for people who wanted to work on SCL projects who didn’t wish to pierce to London” and that he had famous a firm’s co-founder, Jeff Silvester, given he was 16.
AIQ says it “has never entered into a agreement with Cambridge Analytica” and that “Chris Wylie has never been employed by AggregateIQ”.
Cambridge Analytica is during a centre of a quarrel over either it used a personal information of millions of Facebook users to lean a outcome of a US 2016 presidential choosing and a UK Brexit referendum.