Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Cambridge Analytica Says It Used Israeli Spies For Intelligence Gathering

(JTA) — Cambridge Analytica claims to have used Israeli companies and former Israeli spies in its intelligence gathering.

The British data-mining company used information inappropriately collected from the accounts of over 50 million Facebook users while working on the Trump presidential campaign in order to influence the vote, The New York Times has reported in recent days. The Trump campaign reportedly paid Cambridge Analytica more than $6 million during the campaign, according to federal election records.

Britain’s Channel 4 news taped Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix secretly for a program aired Monday.

“We use some British companies, we use some Israeli companies,” Nix said. “From Israel. Very effective in intelligence gathering.”

Facebook suspended the company on Friday after finding that it had violated its data privacy policies; Facebook’s stock fell 7 percent in trading Monday.

A British parliamentary committee, the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday to appear before the committee to explain how millions of users’ data could be collected and used for political campaigns.

In 2014, a quiz on Facebook developed by University of Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan invited users to find out their personality type. The quiz garnered the user information of the person who took the quiz as well as his or her Facebook friends.

Christopher Wylie, who worked as Cambridge Analytica’s head of research, has said that 270,000 people took the quiz, which garnered the data of some 50 million users, mainly in the United States. He alleges that the information was sold to Cambridge Analytica, which then used it to profile people who would be receptive to Trump campaign material. The company denied it used any of the information for the campaign.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.