Brexit backer Banks denies allegation he misused data in campaign

From Reuters - April 17, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - A prominent campaigner to leave the European Union, Arron Banks,denied allegations on Tuesday by a former employee of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica that he had misused personal data for political purposes.

Brittany Kaiser testified to a committee of British lawmakers that Leave.EU founder Banks might have broken data protection law by mixing customer data from his insurance firms with voter contact lists, and that he had refused to pay a bill for work done by Cambridge Analytica.

Banks told Reuters the testimony was sheer whoppers, a British colloquialism for lies.

British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica lies at the center of a storm for using data obtained from millions of Facebook users without their permission after it was hired by Donald Trump for his 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Kaiser said she was no expert in data but that she believed that the number of Facebook users compromised in similar ways was much greater than the current estimate of 87 million.

The analytics firm is also under scrutiny over alleged campaigning for the 2016 referendum when Britons voted to leave the European Union.

Kaiser said that on a visit to Banks headquarters in Bristol, she had seen a call center where data for Eldon and GoSkippy, Banks insurance firms, was being used by Leave.EU.

In hindsight, I now think that there is reason to believe that misuse of data was rife amongst the businesses and campaigns of Arron Banks, she said in written testimony to the committee.

Banks told Reuters it was well-known that Leave.EU had set up a call center in his offices, but there was a separate dataset for politics, and there was no overlap at all.


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