A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information 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. Christopher Wylie, who worked with a Cambridge University academic to obtain the data, told the Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”
Mr Wylie has repeatedly claimed to be a whistleblower and or a founder of Cambridge Analytica. In reality, he was a part-time contractor for SCL Elections for a period of 11 months and left in July 2014. He has no recent knowledge of our business or its practices, and has admitted as much in his testimony to the UK parliament.