Tuesday 23 July, 2019

UNC urged to come clean on data mining claims

The PNM Women’s League has slammed the United National Congress (UNC) over allegations of data mining involving UK firm Cambridge Analytica.

The Women's League is also expressing concern over recent reports that the UNC tapped into state agencies such as WASA and T&TEC to build a voter file ahead of the 2015 general election.

In a statement, the PNM Women’s League said it is looking on at what it described as the latest scandal involving the ‘morally bankrupt’ UNC.

The group said the alleged election tampering, using data harvesting from Cambridge Analytica showed the depths of desperation the UNC took to subvert the democratic purpose.

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It also noted with concern the statements of whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who recently told UK lawmakers that AggregateIQ (AIQ), a company set up alongside Cambridge Analytica worked on a project in T&T for a former minister, which involved attempting to harvest the data of this country’s population, by monitoring the browsing history of citizens.

“The line has been crossed…Blissfully unaware citizens used social media platforms unmindful that the data harvesting was taking place even from their private messages.

The League knows this new political campaigning tool was one intent on subverting our democratic process,” the PNM Women’s League noted in its statement.

The group said it also noted with surprise what it called the ‘vociferous denials’ by the Opposition Leader as well as her former Ministers of National Security and the ‘lukewarm denial’ from the former People’s Partnership member, the Congress of the People.

“The League and thousands of our citizens would like the Leader of the Opposition to answer this question. Who paid for the Cambridge Analytica consultancy?” the group further questioned.

The PNM Women’s League is also questioning whether the Opposition Leader would deny minutes from the UNC which allegedly showed how the party used access to state entities to access personal information of voters ahead of the 2015 general election.

“The League knows that these questions will not be answered truthfully by the Leader of the Opposition because to do so would be to admit to serious crimes, mischief in public office as well as the profound betrayal of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

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