Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles'

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Christopher Wylie, who worked for data firm Cambridge Analytica, reveals how personal information was taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. At the time the company was owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Donald Trump’s key adviser, Steve Bannon. Its CEO is Alexander Nix How Cambridge Analytica turned Facebook ‘likes’ into a lucrative political tool ► Subscribe to The Guardian ► Support the Guardian ► Sign up for the Guardian documentaries newsletter ► The Guardian ► Playlists: Guardian documentaries ► Guardian VR ► Guardian Features ► Anywhere but Westminster ► Anywhere but Washington ► Owen Jones meets ► Guardian Animations & Explanations ► The Guardian YouTube network: Guardian News ► Owen Jones talks ► Guardian Football ► Guardian Science and Tech ► Guardian Sport ► Guardian Culture ►

Comments from Youtube

tofolux : NSA to Cambridge Analytica.... hold my beer

Emma Klinsmann : kinda ironic that a company that is about bringing people together through connection and shared experience is actually dividing and fragmenting and molding them all for money.

Okiha Addict : I don't think people understand the seriousness of this, they could as well just put a pill in my drink and torture me for information. They have done the same thing here, just in a more comfortable way. Facebook is a crazy company run by a crazy CEO.

Jovani Olivares : I thought everyone already knew this??

Elias Ben : So this is the same plot as the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, where a billionaire mogul attempts to sway public opinion.

Bryan K : Everyone shut up! The media isn’t finished telling us what to think...

Half Code : Guardian are trying to hack politics with this "leak" from a punk commie. There is nothing described here that isn't bog standard marketing in the modern era.

Henry Zhang : This guy is epic, love the word he use, great explanation.

Solve Everything : Why are people even using facebook? Delete everything.

Commando Master : If you post your personal info online, you are at risk of your info getting taken and used without your consent for any purpose.

Jorge Bruno : Guys! It's surprising that you are all surprised about this... Once your data leaves your computer, it is not private anymore. Forget about companies worrying about your privacy and governments securing your data. That is absolute nonsense. You want your data being private? Unplug from the internet. Simple. Otherwise, keep calm and carry on.

de sp : *Entire media companies rally against Trump* Silence *Cambridge Analytica* Watergate 3.0

Maria : I hope FB faces massive backlash & is legally punished/sued!They have been misleading the public since bush/obama's presidency.

Riderules73 : Why watch Black Mirror if we have this already!

Emma Klinsmann : how can most people not see facebbok's real twisted objectives and its bad influence on our lives years ago?

GrungeRockGod : I mean the person responsible for hiring this guy couldn't tell my guy over here complete with pink hair, a nose ring, and hipster glasses wasn't going to be a whistle blower? oof

Mark Hunt : Way to go dude.. Stay safe though. You made many really rich people mad

Error Eliminator : Who knew facebook doesn't care about privacy? Jeez... everyone knows but most still used it... Explain that to me!!!

Hanny Hawkins : Every citizen of every democracy needs too watch and understand this interview. This is why Brexit. This is what got Trump elected. This is warfare against democracies. It’s real. It’s happening now. It matters.

P.L. Huddleston : Wonder how much this guy made off this whole thing before becoming a whistleblower to protect himself?

HALE IRWIN : No wonder Facebook started to "filtered out comments" on certain threads. They only show you comments you "need" to see based on the data they get from you.

Louis-David Doyon : I think it settles the battle between freewill vs determinism! How much of what we do is being influenced or manipulated?? Who controls the information controls the future, pretty simple fact of life. One could say;" I have nothing to hide", might be true, but you have everything to protect!!

Justin DeFouw : Ads did not change my mind. Sorry but if you can be played by 'ads' or 'news' then you don't deserve to vote. Do your own research.

PS Wright : If you believe Cambridge Analytica destroyed the data, you're a complete fool, an empty headed android waiting to be programmed. They should all be in jail. And Facebook has been covering for them and the Russians right along, and deserves massive disciplinary actions on both sides of the ocean. They need to stop putting their goddamned reputation and profits ahead of real human beings' welfare.

Lapsy Pa : he does a good English accent

supercalifragilestic : good on this guy for coming clean

Ray Hager : this young mans life is in grave danger ...the alt..right will kill him ...i pray for his safety ...god speed young man ...

x12yz : I never used facebook from day one!!!!

bluehorseshoe444 : I just unfriended all my Facebook contacts and deactivated my account.

Carla Holley : So, at no point did Wylie stop and think "I'm working for evil"?

Elizabeth Huttinger : This is a truy unbekievable story. Love the detail about movng the whole office to Cambridge when Steve Bannon came calling. Deceiving the deceiver.

Flex Box : I love how they hype this up like this hasn't been done by Obama in 2012. Facebook is in the business of selling people s data

seksualusis : Thanks, Christopher, thanks Guardian.

drmodestoesq : If what this guy is saying is true...Mr. Zuckerberg doesn't come off too well with the assertions or implications.

Jamie Johnson : And the new company he set up does all the things which he claims to be against....

Ken Abedi : Taking notes from this brilliant young man

Master Icarus : The tracking technology or ad tracking must be banned for the common good, the filtering of this information to the foreigner and the harvesting of profiles in social media by third parties must be an important issue for national security. We cannot allow these people to see us as vegetables and analyze us as lab rats, this is a serious and dangerous, the tracking and harvesting of confidential information of millions of people should not be seen as a game or tolerated under any circumstance, because this information could get into the hands of terrorists.

Rishab Aggarwal : Nice episode of black mirror

solodiamante Forever : I miss my teens back in the 90s when social network required human contact and pyshical presence.

The Woob : 🔴selectively, all dinosaur media is ' informing ' us about CA. by informing us further, after Snowdon & Arrange people adjust, will do nothing different and accept, fully expecting that ' someone 'will fix it for them. Fear, amnesia and cognitive dissonance Will return by next week.🔴

Rudra Mitra : You know a leftist when you see one........dyed idiot hair, big darn glasses, piercings and tattoos

Achiles Redemptia : after snowden on NSA surveillance, now wiley on Cambridge Analytica data collection, I will not surprise if there are many more out there

thinkabout : ok we have big problems try this 1 abrupt climate change do ur research please !

ARXV Photo : The interviewer could’ve ask much better questions. Like specifics on how they used and gathered data.

SPACE WALKER : Noam chomsky wrote on this subject matter manufacturing,....

aldown : why he looks like he belongs in the cast of Queer Eye as the hipsterism expert

Gorgonops : Can't wait for his book

Ana C : Smart kid, thank you!

ugh, as if! : looks like an extra from the 1995 movie Hackers