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Technology is a double edged tool, the first adopters being high tech criminals & also those who masquerade as geeks, solving problems of reach & influence through the tool of technology enabled manipulation. If Edward Snowden brought Privacy to world centre stage, Cambridge Analytica has taken the lid of the technology solutions for customers, emanating out of the public domain information on the Social Media. Since the whistle-blowers’ revelation, the world has gone in a spin &everybody connected is looking for cover from Mark Zuckerberg to Steve Bennon.

Who controls the data? Anybody who can manage an access to it. With the capability to manipulate at your command, the results can be mind boggling. Hacks & breaches have started looking puny & laws & company privacy rules, not even worth on the paper, on which it is written. Technology has to be understood and tamed. It requires a different audit matrix& operations different from the Big Four. Our fate cannot be decided by Facebooks & Cambridge Analyticas, however big & technically pernicious they might be.

The facts of the case are startling. How much it impacted the US elections will take time to be deciphered. Changing politics through culture and culture through persons, what a grandiose plan! New psychology construct can be created, if you have the capability to play with personalities. Content is created & disseminated in a multifarious manner. Brainwashing, modern KGB type operation.

The whole population is a Guinea Pig. 50/60 million profiles targeted with a cost of millions in two three months. ”From an initial trial of 1,000 “seeders”, the researchers obtained 160,000 profiles – or about 160 per person.” Commercial exploitation of data when it was meant to be for academic purposes. Cambridge Analytica is no technology company, it has held technology, democracy & privacy for ransom. A dystopian scenario. George Orwell would be a fun read today.


Sanjay Sahay

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