A data science company gains access to a huge amount of personal data for certain purposes. Is this really a surprise? By now, every internet user should know that every bit of data which he/she puts out there can get used by someone else. With or without consent. Since many years, governments and companies implement new laws and invent new techniques to spy on everyone 24/7. And many people even applaud their actions because they keep “bad terrorists” away (while keeping the underlying structures that reproduce terrorism intact).
Last week, the Guardian published two video interviews with former employees of Cambridge Analytica: Christopher Wylie and Brittany Kaiser.
Both of them say that they are not in favour of Trump, Bannon, or the pro-Brexit campaign. In fact, the populist right does politics against their own interests. It curbs the rights of women and the LGBTIQ community. However, both kept working for them. What does that mean? Money and power are more important than integrity. Many blame them personally now but I think that their behaviour is not special at all. It is part of a global culture that is the outcome of a capitalistic, patriarchal and racist system. At least, they do not deny their actions. Consequently, this toxic cycle can be stopped by each one of us, as Wylie said:
If you want to change culture you have to first understand what the units of culture are. The people are the units of culture. So, if you wanna change politics you first have to change people to change culture.