Details About Data Mining Company Cambridge Analytica Allegedly Hired by Jubilee

  • Cambridge Analytica, a company that was allegedly hired by President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee Party, is a privately held company that combines data mining and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process.

    In 2016, CA worked for the United States President Donald Trump's campaign team though there have been varied reports on the company's data analysis during that period.

    The methods of data analysis of CA are based on a profiling system using general online data, Facebook likes, and smartphone data.

    It collects data on voters using sources such as demographics, consumer behaviour, internet activity, and other public and private sources.

    Through a limited number of "likes", people can be analysed and influenced in a particular way.

    CNN reported that the company persuades one to vote for a particular candidate through tailored ads that match your personality.

    They basically ask users to take part in online surveys that categorise them into various personalities, combine the data with voting history, information about where you shop and what you buy and what you watch on television.

    According to The Guardian, CA uses psychological data derived from millions of Facebook users, largely without their permission or knowledge.

    The company indicates that it can predict "needs" of subjects and how these needs may change over time.

    On Wednesday, The Star quoted a "well-placed source" at State House stating that Cambridge Analytica had sent a delegation to Kenya over the weekend to find out what voters believe the current regime has not done and what it should do if elected for a second term.

    Those claims were rubbished by Director of Digital Communication in the Office of the President Dennis Itumbi who said that Kenyatta had enough talent at his disposal to conduct successful campaigns and did not need to outsource.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Itumbi termed the allegations as, "phantom with no basis at all." 

    Reports that Jubilee had hired Cambridge Analytica sparked debate on social media, with a section of users terming the move as a misuse of funds.