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Data mining, data analysis, data brokerage
HeadquartersVictoria, British Columbia, Canada Edit this at Wikidata

AggregateIQ (AIQ) is a Canadian political consultancy and technology company, based in Victoria, British Columbia. It "integrates, obtains, and normalizes data from disparate so[u]rces".[1]

AIQ was founded in 2013 by Zack Massingham, a former university administrator, "turned digital marketing guru", and Jeff Silvester[2]. As of February 2017, AIQ employed 20 people and was based in downtown Victoria, British Columbia.[3]

£3.5 million was spent with AggregateIQ by four pro-Brexit campaigning groups, Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain, and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.[4] Co-ordination between the groups would have broken UK election law.[1] In May 2018, Facebook told the Commons Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport that Vote Leave and BeLeave were targeting exactly the same audiences on Facebook via AIQ.[5]

AIQ has been employed by John Bolton, before he was Donald Trump's national security adviser, and by US senators Thom Tillis and Ted Cruz.[4] AIQ created Ripon, Cambridge Analytica's campaign software platform, which was largely funded by the Cruz campaign.[1]

On 6 April 2018, Facebook suspended AggregateIQ from using its platform due to concerns of a possible affiliation with SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.[6][4][7][8] Facebook stated, "In light of recent reports that AggregateIQ may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received FB user data, we have added them to the list of entities we have suspended from our platform while we investigate."[4]

On 20 September 2018, AggregateIQ became the first firm to be served a formal notice by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office for breaching the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. The company launched an appeal against the notice.[9] A documentary in 2019 alleged that AIQ's business concept consists of collecting and analysing people's data in order to personalize political fake slogans, send these to users with the goal of persuading the individual to act according to AggregateIQ's customer wishes. AggregateIQ is apparently deeply involved in Britain's Brexit vote, thus manipulating, even if indirectly, the vote and persuading people to vote in favor of Brexit by posting individual lies to users, according to Nigel Farage's wishes and ideas. The company collaborated with Farage in this respect and with Steve Bannon.[10]

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  1. ^ a b c Cameron, Dell. "AggregateIQ Created Cambridge Analytica's Election Software, and Here's the Proof". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. ^ DeRosa, Katie. "Victoria firm AggregateIQ denies link to data-miner at heart of Facebook controversy". Times Colonist. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  3. ^ Foster, Patrick; Evans, Martin (24 February 2017). "Exclusive: How a tiny Canadian IT company helped swing the Brexit vote for Leave". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Cadwalladr, Carole (7 April 2018). "Facebook suspends data firm hired by Vote Leave over alleged Cambridge Analytica ties". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Annex to letter from Rebecca Stimson, Facebook, to the Chair, dated 14 May: Letter from Gareth Lambe, Facebook, to Louise Edwards, Electoral Commission, 14 May 2018" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Facebook has found 'connections' between Canadian ad firm AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  7. ^ Reuters Editorial. "Facebook suspends Canadian firm AggregateIQ over data scandal". Reuters. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  8. ^ CNBC (7 April 2018). "Facebook suspends Canadian firm AggregateIQ after it may have 'improperly' had access to user data". CNBC. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  9. ^ Baraniuk, Chris (20 September 2018). "Vote Leave data firm hit with first ever GDPR notice". BBC News Online. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  10. ^ Laabs, Dirk. "ZDFzoom: Angriff auf die Demokratie [ZDFzoom: Attack on Democracy]". (in German). Retrieved 2 July 2019.

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