Summary of The Cambridge Analytica Files

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Christopher Wylie attracted worldwide media attention when he outed himself as the brainchild behind “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool” that helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election. Wylie is facing significant legal risks by going public – yet doing so has become a matter of conscience for him. Carole Cadwalladr is a features writer for the British newspaper The Observer. Her article is an in-depth profile of the data scientist and his stint at Cambridge Analytica. getAbstract believes her piece is a must-read for Facebook users and everybody following the twists and turns of the post-2016 election fallout in the United States.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Christopher Wylie came to work for Cambridge Analytica,
  • How Cambridge Analytica obtained the personal data of 50 million Facebook users and
  • How they used the data to create psychological profiles which they used for targeted political ads.

About the Author

Carole Cadwalladr is a features writer for The Observer in the United Kingdom. 



A year after Canadian data specialist Christopher Wylie came to the United Kingdom in 2010 to study law, the Liberal Democrats recruited him to help with voter targeting. Wylie went on to pursue a PhD in fashion trend forecasting when a firm specializing in defense and elections operations called SCL Group offered him a job as research director. The group’s CEO Alexander Nix encouraged Wylie to pursue his personal research interest: the correlation between personality traits and political preferences.

At SCL Group in 2013, Wylie met Steve Bannon - then editor...

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