Brittany Kaiser, former business development director of Cambridge Analytica, talks to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on how the company used people’s personal data to manipulate their behavior.
Kaiser is author of the book, Targeted, which talks about microtargeting or the practice of manipulating an individual’s thoughts and sentiments through disinformation tactics and the use of available personal data. (READ: Microtargeting looms larger than ever in pandemic era)
Ressa and Kaiser sit down and talk about how this practice has been used before in the Philippines to influence the 2016 elections. In a Rappler exclusive, another Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, said the country was the “petri dish” for data manipulation.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal blew up in March 2018 after Wylie came forward, revealing that the company had accessed the data of millions of Facebook users to target them for political campaigns. Facebook later reported that data of over 87 million users was harvested. (READ: Cambridge Analytica’s parent firm claims it won 2010 election for PH president)
In this interview, Kaiser also confirms former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, approached Cambridge Analytica to “rebrand” the Marcos family’s image on social media.
Rappler requested comment from Marcos’ spokesperson Vic Rodriguez regarding the allegation on Monday, July 13, but has yet to receive a response as of posting on Wednesday, July 15. Rodriguez responded on Thursday morning, July 16, denying the allegation. (READ: Bongbong Marcos asked Cambridge Analytica to ‘rebrand’ family image)
Meantime, Kaiser advises everybody “to start to take your data and your privacy very seriously… Start to think that your data is the human value that you produce every day, the most valuable asset class in the world, where you are the producer of that.”
Watch the full Rappler Talk episode here. – Rappler.com