To put it simply, the fact the Cambridge Analytica had this data means that the Trump campaign was able to illegally target – with great accuracy – the exact demographic of people they wanted to indoctrinate with messaging through Facebook advertising.
The Guardian reports “a whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.”
Christopher Wylie worked with a Cambridge University academic to obtain the data, according to the Observer: “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on.”
This was cheating. There’s no other way to describe it. This is, quite literally, the 2016 equivalent to the Richard Nixon scandal where burglars broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to steal secret information to use against his opponent.
Bill Palmer explains it like this: “All along we’ve been waiting for the smoking gun that would prove the Trump campaign was using voter registration data, or DNC email data, stolen by Russian hackers. We know the Russians stole that data. We know members of the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian hackers, and with their WikiLeaks intermediary. The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming, but we have not yet seen proof that this data stolen by the Russians was in fact used by the Trump campaign. That may come out before much longer, but as of today we don’t need that proof in order to conclude that Trump really did cheat.”
Cambridge Analytica obtained user data from approximately 50,000,000 Facebook users in a manner that violated Facebook’s policies and used the data to help get Trump elected. I can’t say it enough…that’s cheating. Hillary Clinton lost the election in part due to this cheating.
Of course, we are still waiting on the Robert Mueller investigation to concluded in regards to alleged Russian interference, but the data breach element alone confirms that Donald Trump’s campaign used stolen voter data – through Cambridge Analytica – to swing the election.
It couldn’t be more obvious. Donald Trump did not win the election legitimately, and the Cambridge Analytica aspect of the scandal only helps confirm as much.