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KENYA: Facebook suspends Trump, Uhuru campaign data analytics company

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STANDARD MEDIA – Social media and networking company Facebook has suspended the accounts of Cambridge Analytica, which is linked to President Uhuru’s 2017 re-election campaign, after finding data privacy policies had been violated.Facebook said in a statement dated March 16 that is suspended from Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

The social media giant claims that in 2015 Cambridge Analytica secured Facebook user information without their approval.

The data was from a previous work Facebook did with a University of Cambridge psychology professor named Dr Aleksandr Kogan.

“Dr. Aleksandr Kogan lied to us and violated our platform policies by passing data from an app that was using Facebook Login to SCL/Cambridge Analytica, a firm that does political, government and military work around the globe. He also passed that data to Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, Inc.,” Said Facebook Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal..

Facebook said it was rigorously continuing to investigate the claims, adding, “We will take legal action if necessary to hold them responsible and accountable for any unlawful behaviour.”

Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Kenyan politics is reported to have begun in 2013, when it worked for President Uhuru’s the National Alliance party (TNA).

During that closely contested campaign, it correlated online data with nearly 47,000 on-ground surveys. According to the information they posted on their website, the data allowed it to create a profile of the country’s electorate and tailored campaign strategy for the contestants.

Come 2017 polls, London-based Privacy International in a report said Cambridge Analytica engineered divisive social media campaigns in the country.

Two websites – one highlighting the achievements of President Uhuru Kenyatta ‘Uhuru for us’ and the other attacking NASA leader Raila Odinga ‘Real Raila’ – shared an IP address with a company linked to Cambridge Analytica, the report stated.

When the August 8 elections were annulled by the Supreme Court, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, described the polls as “a project” of Cambridge Analytica.

She was speaking during a morning show on US National Public Radio.

“You know, the Kenya election was just overturned and really what’s interesting about that — and I hope somebody writes about it, Terry (NPR host) — the Kenyan election was also a project of Cambridge Analytica, the data company owned by the Mercer family that was instrumental in the Brexit vote,” she said.

However, Jubilee party distanced itself from the hate campaigns, maintaining they were running their campaigns internally.

Cambridge Analytica worked for the failed presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and then for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

They are also linked to Brexit campaigns.

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