THE SILICON VALLEY CARTEL THAT MANIPULATES NATIONAL ELECTIONS AND
link Peter Thiel's Palantir and Eric Schmidt's daughter to
Facebook's Cambridge Analytica fiasco
link Peter Thiel's Palantir and Eric Schmidt's daughter to Facebook's
Cambridge Analytica fiasco
Jim Edwards Mar. 28, 2018, 5:15 AM
Emails indicate that Eric Schmidt's daughter Sophie once suggested that
Cambridge Analytica's parent company work with Palantir.
Analytica later developed a relationship with a Palantir staffer that
produced the idea to use an app to harvest Facebook user data.
Cambridge Analytica and Palantir are owned by conservative billionaires
who funded Donald Trump's election campaign.
— Both Peter Thiel's data-mining company Palantir and a daughter of the
former Google chairman Eric Schmidt had connections to Cambridge
Analytica's misuse of Facebook user information, according to documents
seen by The New York Times .
"We learned today that an employee, in 2013-2014, engaged in an entirely
personal capacity with people associated with Cambridge Analytica,"
Palantir told The Times. "We are looking into this and will take the
The employee was Alfredas Chmieliauskas, according to The Times. His
LinkedIn shows that he is a business-development staffer at Palantir in
London. He suggested that Cambridge Analytica create a personality-quiz
app to harvest data from Facebook users, The Times said. Cambridge
Analytica eventually used a similar method to obtain data from about 50
million Facebook users it could then sell.
The connection between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica was apparently
suggested by Schmidt's daughter Sophie, who had been an intern at SCL
Group, a UK-based defense and intelligence contractor that created
Cambridge Analytica in 2012. A 2013 email seen by The Times indicated that
Sophie Schmidt, who did not respond to the paper's request for comment,
urged that SCL work with Palantir:
"Ever come across Palantir. Amusingly Eric Schmidt's daughter was an
intern with us and is trying to push us towards them?" one SCL employee
wrote to a colleague in the email.
Schmidt, the daughter of the former Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt,
visiting the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad in 2009. REUTERS/Thaier
Analytica and Palantir began their relationship in 2014, when Christopher
Wylie, the pink-haired Cambridge Analytica cofounder turned whistleblower
who testified to Parliament in London this week, visited Palantir's London
headquarters in Soho Square with Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix.
The Times said :
"Mr. Chmieliauskas continued to communicate with Mr. Wylie's team in 2014,
as the Cambridge employees were locked in protracted negotiations with a
researcher at Cambridge University, Michal Kosinski, to obtain Facebook
data through an app Mr. Kosinski had built. The data was crucial to
efficiently scale up Cambridge's psychometrics products so they could be
used in elections and for corporate clients.
"'I had left field idea,' Mr. Chmieliauskas wrote in May 2014. 'What about
replicating the work of the cambridge prof as a mobile app that connects
to facebook?' Reproducing the app, Mr. Chmieliauskas wrote, 'could be a
valuable leverage negotiating with the guy.'"
Nix later tried to work officially with executives at Palantir, but they
demurred. Ultimately, Cambridge Analytica pursued the app without
Palantir's official help.
The emails will make uncomfortable reading for both companies.
Thiel is a Facebook board member and a conservative libertarian with a
dystopian view of the future who funded Donald Trump's US presidential
campaign. He became a billionaire through a series of tech investments
including PayPal and Facebook.
Cambridge Analytica was founded by Robert Mercer, the conservative
billionaire hedge fund creator who has also funded Trump and Breitbart
News, the right-wing media group that is often accused of publishing
Cambridge Analytica is now the subject of criminal investigations in both
the UK and the US over its role in the 2016 US presidential election and
the Brexit referendum in the UK. The company has made contradictory
statements about its alleged role persuading British people to vote to
leave the European Union .
SEE ALSO: All the times Cambridge Analytica gave brazenly contradictory
accounts of its murky work on Brexit