Episode 145
Jan 14, 2020

It’s 2020. And the Cambridge Analytica story? It’s growing …

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This week, former Cambridge Analytica employee and document leaker Brittany Kaiser talks with us about election interference and Big Data.

Remember Cambridge Analytica? You probably wish you could forget.

But 10 and a half months out from the next U.S. presidential election, former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser says there’s more we all need to know about Big Data and how companies like her former employer are using it to steer democracy.

Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018 after it came out that the company improperly accessed data on tens of millions of Facebook users. (Facebook ended up with a $5 billion fine from federal regulators.) Kaiser met with Robert Mueller and British lawmakers, she appeared in the Netflix documentary “The Great Hack” and last year she wrote a book, “Targeted.”

On New Year’s Day, she published a bundle of internal Cambridge Analytica documents online, giving more details about how her company operated separately and apart from the Facebook scandal at U.S. elections. With even more documents to come, Kaiser’s styled herself as a whistleblower, though privacy advocates and other critics have contested that.

For our first episode of the new year, we’re talking with Kaiser about big data, disinformation campaigns, election integrity and her new initiative, the Own Your Data Foundation. Plus, we’ll catch up on some of your emails and voice memos from the holiday break.

Big thanks to everyone who took part in our end-of-year fundraiser. If you missed it, you can still become a Marketplace Investor here and get yourself some cool thank-you gifts. For even more “Make Me Smart,” try our Alexa skill and subscribe to our newsletter.

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The team

Molly Wood Host
Jody Becker Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sam Anderson Associate Producer