News, Culture & Society

Cambridge Analytica’s voter profiles were ‘never very useful’

Donald Trump’s stratagists used Cambridge Analytica’s data


During the 2016 US election Cambridge Analytica was able to match this haul of data to electoral rolls, allowing Donald Trump’s strategists to carefully calibrate campaign messages to resonate exactly with the hopes and fears of the voters it needed to win.

Often they found themselves bombarded with negative adverts about Hillary Clinton, or viral videos that contained what critics dubbed ‘fake news’.

Though Trump lost the popular vote, this helped him win the key marginal states, and with it the White House.

In a subsequent speech, Alexander Nix, whose firm was paid around £4.8million, boasted that ‘pretty much every message Trump put out was data-driven’.


CA’s parent company SCL Group was allegedly employed by the Labour Party of St Kitts and Nevis in order to smear the leader of the opposition, Lindsay Grant during the 2010 elections.

It reportedly paid a contractor £12,000 to pose as a property magnate and offer Mr Grant his support in exchange for a cut-price land deal.

The Times reported that the company secretly filmed the People’s Action Movement leader accepting the ‘bribe’ and shared it online in the days leading up to the election.

It comes amid claims Cambridge Analytica was able to harvest personal information from Facebook users and allegedly use it to influence elections.

SCL’s contractor reportedly met Mr Grant at a Mariott hotel in St Kitts and reportedly offered the opposition politician just over £1million for 200 acres of land, well under the real value of the land.

Mr Grant is believed to have accepted the deal after the offer was increased by £150,000.

Unbeknownst to the politician, SCL allegedly filmed the meeting and released the video before the polls opened.

There are also claims they carried out a ‘targeted digital attack’ on Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St Vincent.

Mr Gonsalves later claimed he had been harassed and bullied in a campaign that included an attempted hack on his private email.

There are also claims they worked for free on the election campaign to elect St Lucia’s prime minister Stephenson King in return for a contract to run a $1.9million public health campaign.


A Kenyan opposition official says they are poring through a British broadcaster’s investigation to see whether legal action is possible against data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica over its role in last year’s disputed presidential election.

The firm already is being investigated by British and U.S. authorities over the alleged improper use of Facebook data.

Kenya’s National Super Alliance chief executive Norman Magaya says they will look into whether Cambridge Analytica was involved in what the opposition claims is a hack of the electoral commission and manipulation of results in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August election.

Kenyatta won a fresh election after the Supreme Court nullified the August vote over ‘illegalities.’

In the Channel 4 report based on undercover video, Cambridge Analytica took credit for stage-managing Kenyatta’s campaign.


Australia’s information commissioner is investigating whether any people in its country are victims of the data scandal.

Cambridge Analytica was looking to expand to the country but deregistered its business name there on Monday.


In India, SCL has worked with Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI) on various elections.  

OBI owner Amrish Tyagi refused to answer questions but said their Indian work had nothing to do with social media or online work and was working with various political parties on the ground.


SCL has been paid more than £150,000 by the Government to research ‘behaviour’ in conflict zones.

Their work included reports on Libya after the fall of Gaddafi and in Pakistan in 2008. 

SCL is also said to have done similar work for the US Government in Afghanistan and Iraq.