(Screenshot/AggregateIQ.com)

B.C. company denies link to Facebook data scandal

Victoria-based AggregateIQ Data Services denies any connection to Cambridge Analytica

A small Victoria, B.C.-based tech firm has found itself mired in a privacy scandal unfolding in Europe as it faces accusations that it played a role in influencing Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

AggregateIQ Data Services Ltd. is a digital advertising, web and software development company, according to its website.

Whistleblowers claim the company is connected to efforts to circumvent election finance rules during the Brexit referendum and played an outsized role in the eventual win for the “leave” side.

They say that VoteLeave violated the spending limit rules by donating 625,000 pounds (about C$1.1 million) to the pro-Brexit student group BeLeave, then sending the money directly to AggregateIQ.

One of the whistleblowers, Christopher Wylie, claims he helped found AggregateIQ while he worked for SCL, which is the parent company of Cambridge Analytica. Wylie also alleges that Cambridge Analytica used data harvested from more than 50-million Facebook users to help U.S. President Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

READ MORE: Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook whistleblower

Wylie told the digital, culture, media and sport committee of the U.K. Parliament that he “absolutely” believed AggregateIQ drew on Cambridge Analytica’s databases for its work on the official Vote Leave campaign.

“I think it is incredibly reasonable to say that AIQ played a very significant role in Leave winning,” he said.

The campaign appears to have previously verified the company’s role in its success.

“Without a doubt, the Vote Leave campaign owes a great deal of its success to the work of AggregateIQ. We couldn’t have done it without them,” reads a quote from Dominic Cummings, a Vote Leave campaign director, on a cached version of AggregateIQ’s website.

AggregateIQ did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment and its listed office line went unanswered and did not connect to a voicemail service.

The company denies any connection to Cambridge Analytica in a statement posted on its website on March 24 and said it works in full legal and regulatory compliance in the jurisdictions where it operates.

READ MORE: Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

“AggregateIQ has never been and is not a part of Cambridge Analytica or SCL”, reads the statement, adding that it never entered into a contract with Cambridge Analytica or employed Wylie.

“It has never knowingly been involved in any illegal activity,” it said. ”All work AggregateIQ does for each client is kept separate from every other client.”

However, a cached version of SCL’s website shows it once listed a Canadian office located in Victoria. The phone number listed leads to Zackary Massingham, AggregateIQ’s president since 2011, according to his LinkedIn page. He did not respond to a voicemail left at that number.

AggregateIQ’s website also previously included a statement defending the company against allegations it used Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data.

The company said it ”has never managed, nor did we ever have access to, any Facebook data or database allegedly obtained improperly by Cambridge Analytica.” That statement has since been removed from the website.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Naked man arrested for impaired driving

The man allegedly fled the scene of a collision wearing only a sheet. Plus other Ponoka RCMP briefs

Ponoka Legion commemorates 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Ponoka residents pack Legion hall during Remembrance Day

Ponoka Secondary Campus alumni provides example of how to remember those who were lost

School’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony focuses on 100th anniversary of WWI armistace

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

City of Wetaskiwin didn’t apply utility hikes to bills

Clerical financial error discovered by Wetaskiwin city council

Most Read