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Tillis Used Cambridge Analytica In 2014 Campaign

Thom Tillis

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis says it is upsetting to learn about an alleged data breach by a company his campaign used.The Republican won a seat in Congress four years ago, when his campaign spent $30,000 with Cambridge Analytica. Tillis defeated Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in an expensive and contentious race.

On Monday, a report from The Observer of London said that data firm harvested private information from nearly 50 million Facebook users without their permission. Tillis downplayed the firm’s role in his campaign.
“Cambridge Analytica was one of many vendors that provided limited services during my campaign,” Tillis said in a statement. “However, they were not our digital vendor and they have ceased to be a vendor for my campaign for more than three years. My expectation is that all services provided to my campaign are lawful – regardless of who provides them, including third parties. If we were misled by a vendor, that would be deeply disturbing.”
Tillis said he hasn’t used the company in three years. Cambridge Analytica builds personality profiles in an effort to identify the partisan tilt of voters to best target political ads. The company received $150,000 from the State Republican party in 2014 and $65,000 in 2015.

At a press conference Tuesday, NC Democratic Party Chariman Wayne Goodin questioned the relationship between the state's Republican party and Cambridge Analytica.

“Before there ever was a Trump campaign, it was North Carolina Republicans who helped line the pockets of this shady firm and allowed it to steal and weaponize personal information to manipulate voters,” NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin said at a press conference Tuesday. “We must know the extent that the NC GOP helped this firm steal, weaponize, and exploit people’s private information. Given the connection between the North Carolina Republican Party and Cambridge Analytica, we need some straight answers to these questions.”
Cambridge Analytica is also alleged to have provided data to the Trump Campaign in 2016. The firm is now under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for improperly obtaining personal information.

Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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