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It was a Palantir employee in London, working closely with the data scientists building Cambridge’s psychological profiling technology, who suggested the scientists create their own app — a mobile-phone-based personality quiz — to gain access to Facebook users’ friend networks, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.
Cambridge ultimately took a similar approach. By early summer, the company found a university researcher to harvest data using a personality questionnaire and Facebook app. The researcher scraped private data from over 50 million Facebook users — and Cambridge Analytica went into business selling so-called psychometric profiles of American voters, setting itself on a collision course with regulators and lawmakers in the United States and Britain.
The Palantir employee, Alfredas Chmieliauskas, works on business development for the company, according to his LinkedIn page. In an initial statement, Palantir said it had “never had a relationship with Cambridge Analytica, nor have we ever worked on any Cambridge Analytica data.” Later on Tuesday, Palantir revised its account, saying that Mr. Chmieliauskas was not acting on the company’s behalf when he advised Mr. Wylie on the Facebook data.
“We learned today that an employee, in 2013-2014, engaged in an entirely personal capacity with people associated with Cambridge Analytica,” the company said. “We are looking into this and will take the appropriate action.”
The company said it was continuing to investigate but knew of no other employees who took part in the effort. Mr. Wylie told lawmakers that multiple Palantir employees played a role.
Documents and interviews indicate that starting in 2013, Mr. Chmieliauskas began corresponding with Mr. Wylie and a colleague from his Gmail account. At the time, Mr. Wylie and the colleague worked for the British defense and intelligence contractor SCL Group, which formed Cambridge Analytica with Mr. Mercer the next year. The three shared Google documents to brainstorm ideas about using big data to create sophisticated behavioral profiles, a product code-named “Big Daddy.”
A former intern at SCL — Sophie Schmidt, the daughter of Eric Schmidt, then Google’s executive chairman — urged the company to link up with Palantir, according to Mr. Wylie’s testimony and a June 2013 email viewed by The Times.
originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Good to have you back my friend.
One request with this information: don't taint it with anything remotely partisan. Both parties have been up to no good, and the Peoples interest is best served in addressing the concepts behind this, and how to enact laws to bind politicians from taking advantage of our own worst traits.
Its a riveting story, and the more is uncovered the more that us in the CT community look sane.
Glad you’re in good health.
Besides, the whole charade that any of these firms have the influence they have is drastically overblown, and this charade will lead us to the government intervention into the internet.
I just want to say that you know darn well that it has been way more than just white suprmacists taken down and demonetized by twitter, facebook, youtube, etc. By pretending it is mostly whiite supremacists, I feel you only fuel divisiveness by enabling people to label anyone they diagree iwtyh as racist.
I don't know why it wasn't a bigger deal then except now there's a guy from inside the company who is spilling his guts publicly. A lot of the big pieces, like the surreptitious harvesting of data on tens of millions of Americans where already known when I wrote that first thread in 2016.
There's enough out there that people should have been genuinely alarmed about how things have been trending for years.
Much of what Cambridge Analytica claimed to be able to do for its clients has an exaggerated ring to it. As with the Steele dossier, several of the Cambridge Analytica documents are unintentionally funny, such as a letter from Aleksandr Kogan, the Russian-American academic researcher, suggesting that finding out if people used crossbows or believed in paganism would be useful traits on which to focus.
We are told that Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users have been “harvested” (a good menacing word in this context, suggesting that the poor old users are being chopped off at the ankles), and that information so garnered could be fed into the Trump campaign to put him over the top on election day. In reality, information gathered from such a large number of people is too generalised or too obvious to be of much use.
But as I said in other posts, what CA/SCL is up to in terms of microtargeting is far from something exclusive to CA (though, I'm sure they'd argue that they're better at it). It's not a partisan thing, it's not even an American thing. Hell, it's not an election thing. What it comes down to is ever expanding data collection for the purposes of ever more efficient and effective means of persuasion.
Trying to convince people to take it seriously is harder sell than I would have expected on a forum like ATS but as you can see, some of our smarter, more thoughtful posters are utterly unconvinced that mass manipulation through social media and the like is even something to be concerned with.