B.C., federal privacy watchdogs to probe possible privacy breaches at Aggregate IQ, Facebook

The Victoria-based tech firm Aggregate IQ is facing accusations it influenced the Brexit vote

The federal and provincial privacy commissioners announced Thursday they will be investigating whether Aggregate IQ and Facebook breached privacy laws.

The small Victoria-based tech firm is accused of helping to influence Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016.

The investigations will focus on how the two companies comply with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and B.C.’s Personal Information Protection Act.

Whistleblowers have claimed the company helped circumvent election finance rules during the Brexit referendum and played a role in the “leave” side’s victory.

They alleged that a pro-Brexit group, VoteLeave, violated the spending limit rules by donating 625,000 pounds (about C$1.1 million) to the pro-Brexit student group BeLeave, then sending the money directly to AggregateIQ.

One of the whistleblowers, Christopher Wylie, claims he helped found AggregateIQ while he worked for SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

That’s a British politicial consulting firm he alleges used data harvested from more than 50 million Facebook users to help U.S. President Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

The provincial privacy commissioner began investigating Aggregate IQ last year, while the federal privacy commissioner has already launched an investigation into the unauthorized access and use of Facebook user profiles.

More to come.

– files from The Canadian Press

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants earn a 3-1 victory over Everett in season-opener in Langley

Langley’s major junior hockey team opened the season at home with a victory over the Silvertips.

Abbotsford Friday Night Lights

Recaps of all three senior varsity football team games

City should aim for greener buildings: Blue

Abbotsford council pushes for progress after staff balks at adopting energy-efficient standards

‘Serious incident’ sends Abbotsford area worker to hospital

Few details are currently available, but WorkSafeBC says it is investigating

Raj Patara looks to bring ‘positive change’ to Abbotsford school board

Patara says focus should be on transparency, communication and accountability in school district

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read