#CBC: “Canadian firm tied to Facebook knowledge scandal denies mendacity to Commons committee ” #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada
AggregateIQ chief working officer Jeff Silvester appeared alone right this moment earlier than the House of Commons entry to data, privateness and ethics committee, the place he confronted a grilling about his agency’s ties to the continuing worldwide controversy about how Facebook’s large trove of consumer knowledge was was a political tour by the pro-Brexit and Donald Trump presidential campaigns.
“We’ve been entirely cooperative with this committee,” Silvester mentioned in his opening remarks, describing the solutions that he and firm CEO Zackary Massingham gave to MPs on April 24 as “completely accurate and truthful.”
The Victoria-based firm is topic to investigations by the workplaces of the B.C. Privacy Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office.
“We respect the important work being done by the privacy commissioners and this committee, and wish to continue a constructive dialogue in support of that work,” Silvester mentioned.
AIQ rejects ‘wildly speculative feedback’
But Silvester additionally rejected accusations that his firm lied to MPs about its work throughout the 2016 Brexit referendum, when it supplied on-line marketing campaign and promoting companies to 4 teams that pushed for Britain to go away the European Union.
The controversy started in March, when whistleblower Christopher Wylie accused his former employer, the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, of improperly harvesting non-public knowledge from tens of hundreds of thousands of Facebook customers to construct psychological profiles of voters.
Wylie testified that the agency used that data to assist safe victories in 2016 for Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential marketing campaign and for the Leave camp within the Brexit referendum.
Silvester advised MPs in April that AggregateIQ labored with 4 pro-Brexit organizations — Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and the Democratic Unionist Party — serving to to focus on U.Ok. voters by means of promoting on social media.
In two instances, Vote Leave paid AggregateIQ for work the corporate did for different pro-Brexit campaigns — together with a fee of greater than £625,000 for BeLeave.
A former pro-Brexit volunteer has alleged that the 2 camps — Vote Leave and BeLeave — colluded to duck marketing campaign spending limits, utilizing AIQ to get away with it.
“Speculation by third parties does not constitute fact, and I ask that you not rely upon rumours, innuendo and speculation,” Silvester advised MPs.
The three-hour assembly acquired off to a tough begin, with MPs expressing their displeasure with the truth that AggregateIQ CEO Zackary Massingham failed to look — apparently for undisclosed well being causes — though he had been formally summoned.
Committee vice-chair and Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith mentioned the committee would meet behind closed doorways after listening to from Silvester to debate referring Massingham’s absence to the House of Commons, as it could represent grounds for a discovering of contempt of Parliament.
Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-06-12 14:56:27, as ‘Canadian firm tied to Facebook knowledge scandal denies mendacity to Commons committee