The Australian connection to the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal has been a topic of hot debate for over two years now. It all began with revelations around ‘secure data mining’ techniques which the CA team allegedly used to analyse the personal data of millions of people to influence elections and hijack digital platforms. With the news breaking in 2018, many have sought to uncover the depth of their activities in Australia, including the numerous ‘links’ to political parties and state agencies, and the scope of the influence they may have had on public opinion or policy.
Background to the Cambridge Analytica Scandal
The scandal first emerged in March 2018, when British newspaper The Observer first reported that CA had illegally obtained data from 87 million Facebook profiles and used it to build psychological profiles of millions of citizens in the US and other countries. With the help of their parent company, SCL Group, it was alleged that the data was used to influence voters in the US Presidential Election of 2016.
What followed were numerous revelations about the ‘dark arts’ of data manipulation and an ever-widening scope of data-fabricated campaigns. Further news reports revealed that the company had harvested data from numerous other sources, including LinkedIn and other social media sites, and targeted millions of citizens in Europe, the US, UK and elsewhere.
CA’s Role in Australian Politics
In the wake of the reports, the Australian public was keen to understand the extent of their activities Down Under. It soon emerged that the company had been involved in at least four major political campaigns in Australia, including those of now-Prime Minister Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and then-Premier Jay Weatherill. The team had also been hired to work on ‘Project Connect’ – a project to create an integrated government-broadcast media content platform for the South Australian Government.
The company had also worked on campaigns for the Australian Labour Party, Liberal Party and the National Party. All this came as a surprise to many, particularly given the fact that the company had never revealed their involvement in Australia.
Various Investigations Across Australia
The developments involving CA triggered investigations by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The OAIC examined whether the company had obtained or otherwise improperly used personal information without consent. The AEC looked into the possible involvement of CA in the 2016 election campaign.
Meanwhile, the Australian Senate also conducted an inquiry into CA’s operations in Australia and the impact it had on the political landscape. Hearings were held in both Canberra and Sydney, with various players in the political scene called to testify.
In the end, the investigations showed that CA had been involved in various forms of conspiracy and manipulation in Australia, as had been suspected. They had violated numerous data privacy laws, as well as ethical standards for campaigning. This prompted various states and territories, including Victoria, to reform their privacy laws and launch their own inquiries.
What the CA scandal has demonstrated is the vast power of data-led campaigns and the havoc it can wreak on the public if not regulated properly. It is a stark reminder of the need for strong privacy laws, as well as monitoring and enforcement by regulatory agencies.
Impact of CA on Australian Politics
The revelations of the CA scandal revealed the power of ‘big data’ in influencing elections and public opinion in Australia. It showed that even a relatively small company could have a major impact on the political landscape if left unregulated.
Implications and Recommendations
The depth of CA’s activities and practices posed serious questions about the ability of the Australian government and electoral bodies to regulate and monitor similar activities. This prompted various states, territories, and even the Commonwealth, to strengthen their privacy laws, as well as datamining and data sharing regulations. It also underlined the need for close monitoring and enforcement of digital platforms and advertising campaigns.
Continued Speculation over CA’s Role
Given the close relationship between political parties and CA, speculation has continued even after the investigations into their activities were concluded. Many political observers believe the company still plays an important role in influencing public opinion and election outcomes, though it is impossible to definitively prove that.
The Australian connection to the Cambridge Analytica scandal has been the subject of much debate since its emergence two years ago. Investigations revealed that the company had illegally obtained personal data from millions of Australians and used it to build psychological profiles in an effort to influence political campaigns. This prompted various states and territories to strengthen their privacy laws and launch their own investigations. The scandal has demonstrated the immense power of data-led campaigns and the importance of strong regulations.
Q1: What was the Cambridge Analytica scandal?
The Cambridge Analytica scandal was a data harvesting scandal in which it was alleged that the company had illegally obtained and used the personal data of millions of people in an effort to influence political campaigns.
Q2: Who was involved in the scandal in Australia?
The scandal implicated both political parties, including the Liberal Party, National Party and Australian Labour Party, as well as government agencies such as the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the Australian Electoral Commission.
Q3: What is australian meta cambridge analyticaknaus?
Australian Meta Cambridge Analyticaknaus is the name given to the investigations into the ‘dark arts’ of Cambridge Analytica’s activities in Australia that took place in 2018.
Q4: About australian cambridge analyticaknaus.
Australian Cambridge Analyticaknaus is the investigation into Cambridge Analytica’s activities in Australia, which was prompted by the revelations of their illegal data harvesting practices in 2018. As a result of the investigations, the government introduced new regulations designed to tighten up the harvesting of personal data for political and commercial purposes.