Canadian firm tied to Facebook data scandal got 100K from feds in

first_imgOTTAWA – The Canadian company at the heart of the international scandal over the unauthorized use of Facebook information received $100,000 in federal funding last year to develop data-driven tools for political campaigns, The Canadian Press has learned.AggregateIQ Data Services Ltd. received the one-time contribution from the National Research Council for a nine-month project aimed at developing digital tools to predict who would turn out to vote and the likelihood of supporting a specific candidate, and to predict the outcome of a campaign’s communications strategy.The British Columbia company is under investigation by privacy officials in Ottawa, B.C. and the United Kingdom for its role in influencing the outcome of the U.K.’s Brexit referendum. It is also under investigation for allegedly violating limits on spending during that campaign to benefit the “leave” side.AggregateIQ has also been linked to Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy firm accused of improperly accessing private Facebook data to help political campaigns, including Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential bid and the Brexit campaign.On Friday, Facebook announced that it has suspended AggregateIQ from its platform following reports that the company may be connected to Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL.“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said.“Our internal review continues, and we will co-operate fully with any investigations by regulatory authorities.”Facebook estimates the personal information of 622,161 users in Canada — and nearly 87 million worldwide — was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica.AggregateIQ has said it has always complied with the law and has denied ever being part of Cambridge Analytica or SCL. It has also said it never entered into a contract with Cambridge Analytica, nor has it ever had access to Facebook data allegedly obtained improperly by Cambridge Analytica.The privacy controversy has put a spotlight on the use of data by political parties, which depend heavily on access to quality data about voters to target their campaign pitches.In the months following the 2016 Brexit and Trump victories, the National Research Council provided AggregateIQ with $100,000 in funding, under the Industrial Research Assistance Program, to support a $250,000 project by the company.A copy of the funding agreement, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, says the project’s objective was to create tools to help political campaigns accurately predict voter turnout, the likelihood of support for a specific candidate and the effectiveness of a given campaign communications strategy.“At the completion of the project, AggregateIQ will have an agnostic campaign data reporting platform that will enable our staff to provide more efficient consulting in the work we do as well as sell access to the tool for other organizations to use,” reads the agreement.“This will make our consulting business able to handle more clients and open a new line of revenue in sales and support of a much needed tool in the campaign space.”The NRC’s project with AggregateIQ was scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2017, and end Sept. 30, 2017. The agreement also contained a section that outlined “ethical” considerations.“While this project relies heavily on the collection of data to support analytics and decision making, the data that will be collected is either a data derivative or anonymous data,” the document said, stressing that none of data would have information that could be used to identify individuals.“With no personal data and no data that could be matched back to an individual, we believe that the project meets all ethical requirements and does not require further ethical review,” the agreement said.In its pitch to the NRC, the company, which said it employed 10 people at the time, wrote that it would provide $148,620 towards the project.The company also stressed the demand for such a political tool — and referenced the Trump and Brexit campaigns as examples.“As is evidenced by the recent election between Trump and Clinton, or with the U.K. EU referendum, the traditional polling companies are unable to accurately predict outcomes,” the document said.“Political decision makers are turning to internal data analytics to decide where to spend money, allocate resources and ultimately find out if they are going to win.”The Canadian Press sought comment from AggregateIQ’s chief operating officer, Jeff Silvester, who is listed in the agreement as the company’s representative, but received no response. The agreement was signed by AggregateIQ’s CEO, Zackary Massingham.Canadian data expert Christopher Wylie, who blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica’s allegedly improper use of Facebook data, has claimed he helped found AggregateIQ while he worked for parent company SCL. He has said he “absolutely” believes AggregateIQ drew on Cambridge Analytica’s databases for its work on the Brexit campaign.On Thursday, the federal and British Columbia privacy commissioners announced they are joining forces to investigate Facebook and AggregateIQ.The federal privacy watchdog first launched an investigation last month to look into allegations about the unauthorized access of private Facebook data. It broadened its probe to join the B.C. privacy czar’s ongoing probe of the Victoria-based AggregateIQ, which began late last year, to determine whether the company broke privacy laws.A spokesman for the National Research Council said last year’s funding agreement with AggregateIQ was “the first and only collaboration with the company.”“The Industrial Research Assistance Program works with firms under specific and strict terms and conditions, and evaluates each project on an individual basis, following a rigorous process,” said Charles Drouin.— with files from Associated Presslast_img read more

Flow Customers Get Anytime Anywhere Access To The Worlds Best Football League

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppUnited States, August 14, 2017 – Miami, FL – The Premier League – the world’s most popular and most watched football league – will once again dominate screens across the Caribbean, as diehard football fans get ready for another season of exclusive, must-watch live action kicking off on August 11.Recognizing that for many sports fans in the Caribbean, “football is life,” Flow is giving customers the ultimate viewing experience with access to ten (10) action-packed live Premier League games every single week when they sign up for the Flow Sports Pack – meaning they can always follow their team.   This special package also gives Flow customers exclusive access to hours of nail-biting live coverage and commentary, as well as rare behind-the-scenes footage.   Customers who sign up for the Flow Sports Pack will also enjoy exclusive Premier League content that’s only available on the Flow Sports Premier network; riveting goal-by-goal coverage on Flow Sports Goal Rush; and fan favourites like the official club channels for Chelsea and Manchester United.   Basically, with the Flow Sports Pack, customers will never have to worry about missing out on the action.What’s more, with the Flow Sports App customers can take the game with them wherever they go and watch the matches live on any device, literally putting the best football league in the world right in the palm of their hands.“It’s set to be another exciting football season and we’re proud to again give our customers exclusive access to every single Premier League match, which they can watch anytime and anywhere,” said Garry Sinclair, Flow’s President, Caribbean. “Can Chelsea do it again?  Will Arsenal or Liverpool be resurgent, or will Mourinho and Guardiola bring the trophy back to Manchester?   Whoever our customers support, with the Flow Sports Pack they won’t miss a minute of the action.   To many of our customers football is life and, as the Home of Sports and Football in the Caribbean, we’re delighted to bring them every minute of the best football league in the world.”The 2017/2018 season kicks off on August 11 with Arsenal playing Leicester City, and Flow TV customers will benefit from an exclusive freeview of the Flow Sports pack for the first two weekends of the season (August 11 through August 21) to get a taste of all the action that the Flow Sports pack offers!Flow customers can head over to www.discoverflow.co/sportspack to signup for this exciting bundle today. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

VIDEO Watch The 2019 Wilmington High Scholarship Night

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington High School held its Annual Scholarship Night on Friday, May 31, 2019 in the WHS Gym.  According to Principal Linda Peters, more than $188,000 in scholarships were awarded to 97 graduating seniors.Watch the event, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:——Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedBenoit, Hill, Mastrorilli, Packer, Palmer, Stokes, & WCTV Honored At WHS Senior Athletic Banquet (with VIDEO)In “Sports”VIDEO: Watch The Hospital Bed Race From Fun On The FourthIn “Videos”WHS Football Team Is Looking For Corporate SponsorsIn “Community”last_img read more

Negative mood promotes craving for sweets

first_imgResearchers have found that those who suffer defeat or are in negative emotional states tend to crave sweets more than those in a positive frame of mind.The research published in the journal Appetite focused on how a person’s emotional state—particularly in the competitive world of sports — affects the perception of taste.“We found how emotions arising from the outcome of college hockey games influenced the perception of sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (savory) taste. In addition to hedonic responses—or how much they liked or disliked the foods,” said Robin Dando, assistant professor of food science at Cornell University in the US. Emotions experienced in everyday life can alter the hedonic experience of less-palatable food, implying a link to emotional eating, the study said.last_img read more