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AggregateIQ

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AggregateIQ
TypeData mining, data analysis, data brokerage
HeadquartersVictoria, British Columbia, Canada
Websiteaggregateiq.com Edit this at Wikidata

AggregateIQ (AIQ) previously known as SCL Canada is a Canadian political consultancy and technology company, based in Victoria, British Columbia.[1]

History

AIQ was founded in 2013 by Zack Massingham, a former university administrator and Jeff Silvester.[2] As of February 2017, AIQ employed 20 people and was based in downtown Victoria, British Columbia.[3]

AIQ has attracted controversy over its involvement in the Vote Leave and BeLeave campaigns in 2016 and the Cambridge Analytica scandal that broke out in 2018.

Two years after the Brexit vote in 2016, it was revealed that AggregateIQ had been paid £3.5 million by four pro-Brexit campaigning groups - Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain, and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party - to design software aimed at aggregating personal data and influencing voters through messaging on social media.[4] Under UK law, co-ordination between groups during an election is prohibited.[1] In May 2018, a Facebook executive testified before the House of Commons Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that Vote Leave and BeLeave were targeting exactly the same audiences on Facebook via AIQ.[5]

Prior to the Brexit campaign, AIQ had worked with John Bolton before he became Donald Trump's national security adviser, and with US senators Thom Tillis and Ted Cruz on their senatorial campaigns.[4] As part of Cambridge Analytica's work for the Cruz campaign, AIQ created Ripon, a customized campaign software platform that became the prototype used by pro-Brexit campaign groups, including VoteLeave and BeLeave.[1]

On 6 April 2018, Facebook suspended AggregateIQ from its platform due to concerns over its possible affiliation with SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.[6][4][7][8] Facebook stated, "In light of recent reports that AggregateIQ may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received FB user data, we have added them to the list of entities we have suspended from our platform while we investigate."[4]

On 20 September 2018, AggregateIQ became the first company to be served a formal notice by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office for breaching the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. The company has launched an appeal against the notice.[9]

In 2019, a documentary alleged that AIQ's business concept consisted of collecting and analysing people's data in order to personalize fake political slogans and to send these to users with the goal of persuading them to act according to AIQ's customers' wishes.[10]

AIQ has also been reprimanded by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia, who stated in a report issued in November 2019 that the company had violated privacy laws in its handling of British voters' data during the Vote Leave campaign. The report noted, “When the company used and disclosed the personal information of Vote Leave supporters to Facebook... it went beyond the purposes for which Vote Leave had consent to use that information.”[11]

Discover more about History related topics

BeLeave

BeLeave

BeLeave was a campaign group which campaigned for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union in the 2016 EU referendum. The group was set up to focus on younger voters.

Cambridge Analytica

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Cambridge Analytica Ltd (CA), previously known as SCL USA, was a British political consulting firm that came to prominence through the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. It was started in 2013, as a subsidiary of the private intelligence company and self-described "global election management agency" SCL Group by long-time SCL executives Nigel Oakes, Alexander Nix and Alexander Oakes, with Nix as CEO. The well-connected founders had contact with, among others, the Conservative Party, the British royal family and the British military. The firm maintained offices in London, New York City, and Washington, DC. The company closed operations in 2018 in the course of the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal, although firms related to both Cambridge Analytica and its parent firm SCL still exist.

Brexit

Brexit

Brexit was the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) at 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020. The UK is the only sovereign country to have left the EU or the EC. The UK had been a member state of the EU or its predecessor the European Communities (EC), sometimes of both at the same time, since 1 January 1973. Following Brexit, EU law and the Court of Justice of the European Union no longer have primacy over British laws, except in select areas in relation to Northern Ireland. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 retains relevant EU law as domestic law, which the UK can now amend or repeal. Under the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, Northern Ireland continues to participate in the European Single Market in relation to goods, and to be a de facto member of the EU Customs Union.

Democratic Unionist Party

Democratic Unionist Party

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is a unionist, loyalist, and national conservative political party in Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1971 during the Troubles by Ian Paisley, who led the party for the next 37 years. Currently led by Jeffrey Donaldson, it is the second largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and is the fifth-largest party in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The party has been described as right-wing and socially conservative, being anti-abortion and opposing same-sex marriage. The DUP sees itself as defending Britishness and Ulster Protestant culture against Irish nationalism and Irish republicanism; the party is Eurosceptic and supported Brexit. It supports Northern Ireland remaining in the United Kingdom and opposes the unification of Ireland.

Facebook

Facebook

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House of Commons of the United Kingdom

House of Commons of the United Kingdom

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Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee

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Donald Trump

Donald Trump

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Thom Tillis

Thom Tillis

Thomas Roland Tillis is an American politician serving as the junior United States senator from North Carolina since 2015. A Republican, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2006, and began serving as the speaker in 2011. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2014, defeating Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, and reelected in 2020, defeating Democratic nominee Cal Cunningham.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

Rafael Edward Cruz is an American politician and attorney serving as the junior United States Senator from Texas since 2013. A member of the Republican Party, Cruz served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to 2008.

SCL Group

SCL Group

SCL Group was a private British behavioural research and strategic communication company that came to prominence through the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving its subsidiaries Cambridge Analytica and Crow Business Solutions MENA. It was founded in 1990 by Nigel Oakes, who served as its CEO. The company described itself as a "global election management agency". The company's leaders and owners had close ties to the Conservative Party, the British royal family, British military, United States Department of Defense and NATO and its investors included some of the largest donors to the Conservative Party.

Information Commissioner's Office

Information Commissioner's Office

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is a non-departmental public body which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is the independent regulatory office dealing with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 across the UK; and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and, to a limited extent, in Scotland.

Source: "AggregateIQ", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AggregateIQ.

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References
  1. ^ a b c Cameron, Dell (26 March 2018). "AggregateIQ Created Cambridge Analytica's Election Software, and Here's the Proof". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. ^ DeRosa, Katie. "Victoria firm AggregateIQ denies link to data-miner at heart of Facebook controversy". Times Colonist. Archived from the original on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  3. ^ Foster, Patrick; Evans, Martin (24 February 2017). "Exclusive: How a tiny Canadian IT company helped swing the Brexit vote for Leave". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Cadwalladr, Carole (7 April 2018). "Facebook suspends data firm hired by Vote Leave over alleged Cambridge Analytica ties". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Annex to letter from Rebecca Stimson, Facebook, to the Chair, dated 14 May: Letter from Gareth Lambe, Facebook, to Louise Edwards, Electoral Commission, 14 May 2018" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Facebook has found 'connections' between Canadian ad firm AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  7. ^ Reuters Editorial (7 April 2018). "Facebook suspends Canadian firm AggregateIQ over data scandal". Reuters. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  8. ^ CNBC (7 April 2018). "Facebook suspends Canadian firm AggregateIQ after it may have 'improperly' had access to user data". CNBC. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  9. ^ Baraniuk, Chris (20 September 2018). "Vote Leave data firm hit with first ever GDPR notice". BBC News Online. Archived from the original on 21 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  10. ^ Laabs, Dirk. "ZDFzoom: Angriff auf die Demokratie [ZDFzoom: Attack on Democracy]". www.zdf.de (in German). Archived from the original on 19 June 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  11. ^ Ljunggren, David. "Data firm broke Canadian privacy laws with involvement in Brexit, U.S. campaigns - probe". www.reuters.com. Archived from the original on 13 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
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