April 3, 2018/Press

Is NC GOP Still Using Stolen Facebook Data from Cambridge Analytica? New Reports & NC GOP Comments Suggest So

Is NC GOP Still Using Stolen Facebook Data from Cambridge Analytica? New Reports & NC GOP Comments Suggest So

NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse states CA’s 2014 data was compiled in an “aggregate data file” under the party’s control

Raleigh – New reports and fresh comments from North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse over the weekend suggest that stolen personal information gathered and used by Cambridge Analytica in 2014 to help elect Senator Thom Tillis was not deleted, as Cambridge Analytica stated, and might still be in use by the North Carolina Republican Party.

Cambridge Analytica is at the center of an unfolding scandal involving the NC GOP, Sen. Thom Tillis, and an independent expenditure group, the John Bolton Super PAC, which escalated over the weekend when new reports from the News & Observer and WRAL uncovered potentially illegal coordination between the groups and confirmed that foreign nationals were embedded in North Carolina in 2014.

Responding to the reports, Woodhouse stated that the NC GOP fed Cambridge Analytica’s data into an “aggregate data file” that is under the party’s control:

In 2014, the NCGOP used I-360, RNC data, Cambridge, and voter records from the North Carolina Board of Elections – all of which goes into an aggregate data file that we control and decide what to do with.

Meanwhile, British outlet Channel 4 reported that at least part of Cambridge Analytica’s U.S. campaign data, which was illegally harvested from Facebook, is still circulating – despite assurances from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica it had been deleted:

But the Colorado dataset, along with similar data for Oregon, suggests copies of the Facebook-derived data still exists, and raises questions about who still has them. The data is also known to have been passed around using generic, non-corporate email systems, outside of the servers of Cambridge Analytica, and linked company SCL.

In light of this new report, Woodhouse’s comments suggest that not only does the NC GOP still have Cambridge Analytica’s illegally sourced data but it’s still in use. In fact, the nature of the data – which Woodhouse has previously stated was used for “GOTV” efforts – means that NC GOP’s state legislative candidates benefited from the stolen data and may even continue to benefit from it.

“The North Carolina Republican Party needs to explain whether they are still relying on stolen personal data or verify that they have destroyed every trace of the data,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said. “NC GOP and Senator Tillis aren’t being straight with the public and their statements continue to only raise more questions than answers.”