New Mexican has ties to firm accused of data mining | KOB 4

New Mexican has ties to firm accused of data mining Web Staff
March 19, 2018 05:28 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Facebook is scrambling to assess the damage after one of the biggest data breaches in the company's history. A whistleblower has revealed new details about how he says his old firm helped sway the 2016 election in Donald Trump's favor, and that firm got a big boost from a New Mexican.


Christopher Wylie says his former company, Cambridge Analytica, obtained personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent. The goal, he claims, was to help Republican presidential candidates.

"We were able to get upwards of 50 million plus Facebook records in the span of a couple of months," he said.

For political operatives like Steve Bannon, who became a director at Cambridge Analytica and eventually helped run Trump's campaign, all that personal data about potential voters was a gold mine.

"Steve wanted weapons for his culture war. That's what he wanted and that's, that we, we offered him a way to accomplish what he wanted to do which was, which was change the culture of America," Wylie said.

MORE: How Facebook likes could profile voters for manipulation

Albuquerque native and GOP supporter Robert Mercer is no stranger to Cambridge Analytica. The hedge-fund billionaire has reportedly invested $15 million dollars into the company.

According to Forbes magazine, the University of New Mexico graduate has become one of the Republican Party's biggest contributors, spending nearly $25 million on the 2016 campaign and backing trump.

Late last year, Mercer sold his stake in Breitbart News and stepped down as co-chief executive officer of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.

Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica and its parent company. It's unclear what's happened to that secret data. Cambridge Analytica insists the data have been destroyed, but The New York Times said it has viewed the data online.

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