According to The Guardian, a Canadian data analytics firm called AggregateIQ (or AIQ) has been suspended from use of Facebook's platform. Facebook claims the firm may "have improperly received FB user data." AIQ was contracted by parties campaigning in favor of Brexit in 2016, pulling in a total of £3.5 million from Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain, and Northern Irelands Democratic Unionist party, per The Guardian.
Facebook said this week that it was suspending AIQ from its platform "following reports the company may be connected to Cambridge Analyticas parent company, SCL."
AIQ, for its part, vigorously denies that it has ties to SCL. Its website currently displays a message saying "AggregateIQ is a digital advertising, web, and software development company based in Canada. It is and has always been 100 percent Canadian owned and operated. AggregateIQ has never been and is not a part of Cambridge Analytica or SCL. Aggregate IQ has never entered into a contract with Cambridge Analytica."
Facebook has been doing damage control since a former Cambridge Analytica employee, Chris Wylie, reported that the company had been using troves of private information from Facebook users to target them with political ads. Facebook later admitted that data on as many as 87 million people may have been improperly accessed.
Wylie reportedly handed data on AIQ's alleged connections to SCL over to British Ministers of Parliament two weeks ago. According to the BBC, Wylie said that AIQ was supposed to be a Canadian branch of SCL, and he claimed that he worked on setting up AIQ for SCL. AIQ, however, contends that Wylie "has never been employed by AggregateIQ."
According to The Guardian, AIQ not only worked on targeting advertisement for the UK's Vote Leave campaign, it was also contracted by Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton and US Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Neither Facebook nor AIQ returned Ars' request for comment.
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