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The Aggregate IQ Files, Part One: How a Political Engineering Firm Exposed Their Code Base

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The UpGuard Cyber Team’s latest discovery of a data leak, involving the exposed IT assets of a data analytics firm based in British Columbia, Canada, presents significant questions for society about how technology can be used. In this first installment of a multipart series titled “The AIQ Files,” we begin to explain the importance of the data revealed from a publicly exposed AggregateIQ repository, and how it relates to recent US political history. Coming amidst a firestorm of scrutiny abou...
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Xaxis Brings Programmatic to Political Advertising with Xaxis Politics, First Ad Targeting Solution to Leverage Offline Voter Data for Reaching U.S. Voters across All Digital Channels | Business Wire

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xaxis, the world’s largest programmatic media and technology platform, announced today the launch of Xaxis Politics, the industry’s first targeted political advertising solution for reaching U.S. voters across all digital channels without utilizing personally identifiable information. Developed with Haystaq DNA, Xaxis Politics is the first programmatic product that enables advertisers to leverage offline voter data to inform their digital campaigns. This means that ...
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Xaxis Politics Launches in the Philippines | GroupM

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PHILIPPINES, 16 February 2016 - Xaxis, the world’s largest programmatic media and technology platform, announced today the launch of Xaxis Politics to coincide with the Philippines Presidential Elections due to take place in May 2016. Xaxis Politics will be the first programmatic product in APAC that enables political advertisers to leverage on real time anonymous voter data to inform their digital campaigns in real time. This means that political candidates can reach their most relevant vot...
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Another chapter on Facebook’s privacy woes is being written in Latin America – TechCrunch

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Publication Date: 2018-03-30
The abuse of Facebook’s platform for political purposes is a problem that doesn’t stop at the U.S border. Governments around the world are continuing to wrestle with the implications of Cambridge Analytica’s acquisition of Facebook user data from the heart of Europe to the capitals of Latin America’s most populous nations. In South America, several chapters are still being written into the public record of Facebook’s privacy privations. Some Latin American democracies are also beginning to i...
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Ex-CEO: Cambridge Analytica became "huge target" after Trump win - CBS News

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LONDON -- The former head of Cambridge Analytica said Wednesday that his political consulting firm got "an incredibly huge target" on its back because of its involvement in President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Alexander Nix said his now-defunct firm had become the subject of global derision and was unfairly blamed for putting Mr. Trump in office. The remarks came as an unrepentant Nix clashed with British lawmakers investigating the use of Facebook data in election campaigns. The Pa...
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Facebook, online political advertising under fire following Cambridge Analytica data breach | The Drum

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Publication Date: 2018-03-17
Facebook and its data practices have been attacked by numerous government officials following revelations that Cambridge Analytica clandestinely gained access to the information of 50 million users. Cambridge Analyica, which has now been suspended from Facebook, stands accused of fraudulently obtaining Facebook user data and then using it to run election ads on US president Donald Trump’s behalf. Facebook's vice president and deputy general counsel, Paul Grewal, admitted in a post yesterday...
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From African American Voters to African Nations, Cambridge Analytica Wages ‘Cultural Warfare’ - Progressive.org

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Publication Date: 2018-05-21
× Expand Lawrence Jackson President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Raila Amolo Odinga, then Prime Minister of Kenya, and his wife Mrs. Ida Odinga, New York, 2009. Political firm Cambridge Analytica attempted to suppress voting in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on May 16. Wylie, a former contractor who disclosed the company’s alleged misuse of private Facebook user data earlier this year, said it ...
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How political campaigns use big data to get out the vote - TechRepublic

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It is an election year. If you will recall, at TechRepublic and ZDNet in 2016, we tracked not the horse race, but the data and technology that powers politics. Why? Because there's a ton of information private industry and other institutions, like academics and NGOs, can get from learning how politics use and doesn't use data. TechRepublic met with Paul Westcott, vice president of data at L2 Political, one of the largest data vendors in politics. The political world is its own world, and for...
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EU politicians convert to ‘big data’ as campaign weapon – EURACTIV.com

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Publication Date: 2016-06-21
This article is part of our special report Big data meets politics. US politicians are the acknowledged forerunners when it comes to using digital technologies in election campaigns. But Europeans are making strides in their attempt to catch up, with the 2014 EU election providing a testing ground for big data analysts. The Howard Dean campaign for the 2004 US presidential election is considered as a kind of year zero of data analytics applied to political campaigning. Although he lost the ...
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Exposed: Undercover secrets of Trump’s data firm – Channel 4 News

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Publication Date: 2018-03-20
An investigation by Channel 4 News has revealed how Cambridge Analytica claims it ran ‘all’ of President Trump’s digital campaign – and may have broken election law. As the report went on air, the firm announced it has suspended chief executive Alexander Nix, pending a full investigation. An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News has revealed how Cambridge Analytica claims it ran key parts of the presidential campaign for Donald Trump. The British data company was secretly filmed discus...
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GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters

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Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server. The data leak contains a wealth of personal information on roughly 61 percent of the US population. Along with home addresses, birthdates, and phone numbers, the records include advanced sentiment analyses used by political groups to predict where individual voters fall on h...
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Why political ads on Facebook will still slip by human reviewers - Digiday

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Publication Date: 2017-10-24
Facebook faces an uphill battle in cleaning up political advertising on its platform. Facebook is making adjustments to how political advertisers buy ads on its platform. It’ll still be hard for the social media giant to identify all of the political ads running through its system, though. Facebook can detect a political ad in two main ways. One is by looking at the creative of the ad itself; the other is by looking at who it’s targeted to. As for the ad creative, Facebook can scan the cre...
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Numbers lie all the time: How political polls work - TechRepublic

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Joey: You don't know what these numbers told you. I'm an expert, and I don't know what these numbers just told you. Josh: Numbers don't lie. Joey: They lie all the time. Numbers lie all the time. Yet the business of numbers is big business. Big data helps companies make better decisions by extracting key insights from piles of information. Polling does the same for politics. And like big data for business, though results can be ambiguous and notoriously hard to interpret, polls are essent...
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Ted Cruz erased Trump's Iowa lead by spending millions on voter targeting | US news | The Guardian

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Publication Date: 2016-02-01
Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign has ramped up its aggressive voter-targeting operation, paying out more than $3m to a company that – along with parallel funding via Super Pacs linked to the senator’s top donor – is using detailed psychological profiles to sway voters. Iowa caucus day: Palin praises Trump as 'he who will be the next president' – campaign live Read more A Guardian analysis of the final campaign disclosures released on the eve of Iowa’s caucuses shows the Cruz campaign, banki...
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The Techno-Colonialism Of Facebook And Cambridge Analytica | HuffPost

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Publication Date: 2018-03-23
WASHINGTON ― Before the scandal broke over their improper use of Facebook user data, British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and its parent, SCL Group, plied their trade of political subterfuge for clients in developing countries. Call it techno-colonialism — the idea that the leaner parts of the world are where you go to conduct your beta tests. Like so much else about Cambridge Analytica and SCL, they were merely putting a sinister flourish on something the tech industry does as a matt...
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Former Cambridge Analytica exec says she wants lies to stop | UK news | The Guardian

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Publication Date: 2018-03-23
Brittany Kaiser talks about her time inside the controversial political data firm and why she is speaking out now Former Cambridge Analytica exec says she wants lies to stop It was the summer of 2007. Brittany Kaiser was not yet 21, but she was one of a handful of full-time workers in the small digital team for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, uploading photos of the Illinois senator to something called a Facebook page. At the next desk was another activist who knew a bit about the so...
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Cambridge Analytica: The data firm's global influence - BBC News

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Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix has been suspended amid the controversy The company accused of using the personal data of millions of Facebook users to influence how people vote is not shy about its international portfolio. Political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica is facing questions over whether it used personal data to sway the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum. But its reach extends well beyond...
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Cambridge Analytica connections to new company Emerdata raise concerns of a 'hydra beast' resurrection - One World Identity

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Publication Date: 2018-05-04
Just days after Cambridge Analytica announced it would be closing its doors, a new report reveals ties between the data collection political outfit and another company called Emerdata, raising concerns that the same company could simply reemerge under a new name. Lawmakers and former employees of Cambridge Analytica tipped the Financial Times off to its ties to Emerdata, including the same registered address in London, and the same board of directors. The revelations led Damian Collins, cha...
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After A Shocking Election, Will Data-Driven Campaigners Change Their Game? | AdExchanger

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Publication Date: 2017-01-20
In the years leading up to the 2016 election, Democrats continued investing heavily in a shared data and technology platform, NGP VAN, across liberal candidates and causes. Republicans took a more market-based approach, with high-headcount, full-service shops meant to continue product development beyond election years. Republicans wanted competition where liberals emphasized collaboration. In the wake of widely unexpected election results, have data-driven campaigners on either side shifted t...
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Marketers are feeling the impact of Facebook's role in Russia's presidential election influence campaign - Digiday

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Publication Date: 2017-10-10
Russian trolls are influencing how Facebook lets advertisers target its users. Facebook is now stipulating that targeted political ads on its platform undergo human review, which could slow down how quickly marketers can get their Facebook ads up and running. While the change in ad reviews will have the biggest impact on political advertisers, it is notable because it shows the pressure Facebook is facing for letting a Russian troll farm buy ads on its platform is leading the social giant to...
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Old Towne Media Topped Election Agency Spending in Q4 | Campaign Trail - AdAge

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Publication Date: 2016-02-16
Sanders TV ad CORRECTION: This story originally reported that the campaign expenditures listed herein encompassed all of 2015 but that is incorrect. They refer only to expenditures made by candidate campaigns in the fourth quarter of 2015, from October 1 through December 31, 2015. We hear a lot about how much money the 2016 presidential hopefuls are spending on ads. But there's an entire industry dedicated to churning campaign donor dollars into direct mail, TV spots, social-media efforts, ...
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How big data helped secure Emmanuel Macron’s astounding victory | Prospect Magazine

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From the moment that Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency, it was clear that the parliamentary elections on the 11th and 18th of this month would be critical. Despite his status-quo-smashing victory, Macron’s powers would be severely limited without a majority in the French National Assembly. Initially, even supporters feared that he would not be able to beat political odds twice in just over a month. Yet polls this week indicate that his new party, La République en marche! (REM), could...
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Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata • The Register

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Publication Date: 2018-05-02
The company formerly known as Cambridge Analytica shocked the media today when it announced an immediate shutdown and liquidation of its business. That "shutdown," however, may be short-lived as official documents indicate those behind the controversial analytics company will be launching as a new firm with a less-toxic brand. The surprise announcement came on Wednesday evening, when the UK-based Cambridge Anal., and its parent organization SCL Elections, stated it would enter insolvency pr...
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198 million Americans hit by 'largest ever' voter records leak | ZDNet

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A huge trove of voter data, including personal information and voter profiling data on what's thought to be every registered US voter dating back more than a decade, has been found on an exposed and unsecured server, ZDNet has learned. It's believed to be the largest ever known exposure of voter information to date. The various databases containing 198 million records on American voters from all political parties were found stored on an open Amazon S3 storage server owned by a Republican da...
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Not Just the Trump Commission: Political Parties and Data Firms Already Get N.H. Voters' Data | New Hampshire Public Radio

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When New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said he intended to share information from the state’s public voter checklists with a newly launched Trump administration commission, plenty of people were quick to decry the move as an “invasion of privacy.” But this debate over the decision to turn over voter data to the Trump commission has also highlighted a gap in public awareness around the state’s elections: A lot of people don’t seem to realize this same information is already being ...
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Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach | News | The Guardian

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Publication Date: 2018-03-17
The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Stev...
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Cambridge Analytica denies campaign support in Colombia

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Publication Date: 2018-04-18
Contrary to claims made on the controversial company’s website, Cambridge Analytica told British parliament that it was never hired for political campaigning in Colombia. Former Cambridge Analytica director Brittany Kaiser told a parliamentary commission in the UK that it talked to three different campaigns, but was never hired to campaign in the South American country. Kaiser contradicted her own website, which claimed that the company helped an election candidate in Colombia with “reputat...
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Cambridge Analytica to File for Bankruptcy After Misuse of Facebook Data - The New York Times

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Publication Date: 2018-05-02
The embattled political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced on Wednesday that it would cease most operations and file for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign. The decision was made less than two months after Cambridge Analytica and Facebook became embroiled in a data-harvesting scandal that compromised the personal information of up to 87 million people. Revelations about the misuse of d...
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Ex-Cambridge Analytica CEO Tells Lawmakers He Lied on Video - Bloomberg

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Publication Date: 2018-06-06
Former Cambridge Analytica Chief Executive Officer Alexander Nix said reports that he withdrew $8 million from his now-defunct company are untrue, and that he lied to an undercover journalist because he believed it was what "the client wanted to hear." He told a committee of British lawmakers investigating the impact of social media on recent elections Wednesday that he now has "no involvement" in Cambridge Analytica, which is moving through bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S., or associated ...
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From Treasury Bills To Amazon Stocks, Investments Make Up A Big Part Of Texas Political Campaign Spending – Houston Public Media

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Publication Date: 2018-04-06
A handful of elected officials used more than $28 million from their campaign accounts for investments, making it the second largest category of expenditures in the 2018 election cycle Candidates for state office in Texas have spent more than $120 million so far in the 2018 election cycle — and a handful of them sunk a big chunk of that into investments that ranged from government T-bills to tech stocks, a Texas Tribune analysis shows. The investments exceeded $28 million, making such expen...

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