How to find out what Trump's favorite big data machine knows about you

Cambridge Analytica is a dirty, Dementor-focused big data research outfit that provided the analysis and psych profiles that the Trump campaign used in its electioneering; because its parent company is in the UK, it is required (under EU law) to send you its dossier on you for £10.

Various privacy advocates have been trying to get Cambridge Analytica to comply with UK privacy rules for some time; the company has finally started obeying the law, and's Paul-Olivier Dehaye lays out a roadmap for forcing the company to cough up yet more of the data it holds on us and the psychological profiles it has derived from this data.

Dear Data Compliance Team at SCL Group,

Under the purview of EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and Data Protection Act 1988, I wish to:

know whether your company or any of its processors hold any of my personal data (this includes Cambridge Analytica and other companies in the SCL Group);

know the legal basis of such processing, for each of those companies holding my data (if you rely on consent, please be specific on when I might have given consent and how);

know how you classify this data into the different categories recognized by applicable data protection regimes;

know for what purposes you process this data;

know the legal bases of potential transfers of such personal data to the United States, for each vendor;

for each vendor, obtain my own identifiers within that vendor’s systems;

for each data point, obtain full information as to its source;

get an explanation on the “logic of the processing” of my personal data;

get a list of recipients of my personal data;

obtain a copy of all my personal data.

It has now been a long time since I initially asked for my data. I trust that you will do your best to respond promptly to my request. Given undue delays incurred so far, a response time below a week seems reasonable.

I particularly wish to attract your attention to the “General provisions relating to offences” articles in the Data Protection Act 1988, as they pertain to liabilities by body corporates, but also the personal liability of any officer in such body.

Sincerely Yours,

<FIRST NAME, LAST NAME as on the voter rolls>

<ADDRESS as on the voter rolls>



Quick guide to asking Cambridge Analytica for your data [Paul-Olivier Dehaye/Medium]

(via Mathbabe)

Notable Replies

  1. ...analysis and psych profiles that the Trump campaign used in its electioneering.

    They may have had the data, but they didn't use the data. In my county there was no Trump machine at all. I don't think they had even one paid staff. The campaign office was usually dark and locked. A few hours a week they handed out bumper stickers.

  2. So, do it before Brexit is finalized!

    Doesn't that suggest they DID use the figure out that it wasn't worth the time and effort to canvas there?

  3. Quite possibly, but Cincy isn't that blue. The rednecks across the street love them some Trump.

  4. Hi there. Long-time BB reader, first-time commentator here.

    Is there any downside to doing this? Is it possible that one would simply be either confirming information already held by CA or filling-in the blanks for them? Is there evidence of anyone receiving a response after payment was made?

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