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Cambridge Analytica employee on India project may have been poisoned

29 March 2018

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission said it is investigating Facebook over its privacy practices.

A July 2014 memo described by The New York Times indicates Cambridge Analytica's attorney Lawrence Levy warned top firm officials, including Rebekah Mercer, Stephen Bannon and company CEO Alexander Nix, that foreigners were prohibited from providing high-level advice to us candidates. "They have an office in India", Wylie responded.

Wylie, who came to the hearing with his hair dyed pink, said that besides the work for Congress, CA has "done all kinds of projects" in India.

One of the images tweeted by Wylie shows the address of the SCL India's headquarters and a map of other branches across India.

Wylie worked as a data analytics expert at CA and blew the lid off the unfair methods by which it collected data, such as mining personal information of Facebook users without their consent or knowledge.

He said that he had some documentation on CA's involvement in India and offered to share it with the committee.

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Mr Wylie said Muresan had been working for President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election campaign when he was found dead.

He claimed to have heard stories that Muresan, a Romanian national, may have been poisoned in a hotel room while in the African country.

"But apparently, he was paid for by an Indian billionaire, who actually wanted the Congress to lose", he added. "It is one of the reasons we were skeptical of their product to begin with", said George, who has suggested the company exaggerated its work in Colorado.

Damian Collins, committee chair, repeated his call for Mr Zuckerberg to face a public grilling, saying it would be "appropriate" for him to answer MPs' questions in person or by video link. The company has not said exactly what it used such data for or why it needed it. "We will seek to clarify from Facebook whether he (Zuckerberg) is available to give evidence or not, because that wasn't clear from our correspondence". "People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked", it said in a statement.

Authorities in the USA and Europe are bearing down on Facebook and political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica over allegations the firm stole data from 50 million Facebook users and used it to manipulate elections.

"So in addition to Mark's announcements last week - cracking down on abuse of the Facebook platform, strengthening our policies, and making it easier for people to revoke apps' ability to use your data - we're taking additional steps in the coming weeks to put people in more control over their privacy".

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A former employee of the data firm Cambridge Analytica tells CNN the company might have violated United States election laws by using non-US citizens to work on American campaigns during the 2014 midterm election cycle.

His politically charged statements included that the business was "an example of what modern-day colonialism looks like", alleging that it uses coercion and methods well beyond simple psychological profiling of Facebook users, to influence campaigns around the world.

Wylie said that Cambridge Analytica content present on social networks had conversion rates more than 10 times higher than rival firms, which he called "insanely high".

"We know that this was a major violation of peoples' trust, and I deeply regret that we didn't do enough to deal with it".

Discussing Cambridge Analytica, Wylie said that he doesn't exactly know what projects the firm took up in India, but it was mostly regional work.

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Cambridge Analytica employee on India project may have been poisoned