Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, told the British Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday (March 27) that AggregateIQ, a Canadian company, worked on software, dubbed Ripon, which was used to pinpoint Republican voters leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Reuters, citing comments Wylie made to the British Parliament, reported the software was named Ripon to reflect the town in which the Republican Party was founded in 1854, and that it was created to help a campaign manage voter databases, target specific subsets of voters and carry out surveys, among other things.
Recently, Wylie disclosed to the world how Facebook data was being used without user consent by Cambridge Analytica to help Trump get elected.
“There’s now tangible proof in the public domain that AIQ actually built Ripon, which is the software that utilized the algorithms from the Facebook data,” Wylie said, according to Reuters. AggregateIQ told the newswire on March 24 that it wasn’t part of Cambridge Analytica or that it never worked with the political consulting company. Additionally, Cambridge Analytica said Tuesday (March 27) that is didn’t share any Facebook data with AggregateIQ and that is hasn’t had any communication with the Canadian firm since December 2015.
Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have been under fire for more than a week now after it was revealed the political consulting firm used data from 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge or consent, prompting widespread outrage and a slew of investigations into both companies. Facebook’s stock has tanked as a result, erasing billions of dollars of market valuation.
Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission was the latest to launch an inquiry into the incident. As a result, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly agreed to testify before Congress, according to CNN, citing unnamed sources, although it’s unclear when that will occur.