Former Cambridge Analytica Employee Thrown Out Of Facebook’s New York Office
Facebook safety prevented a former worker of Cambridge Analytica from getting into its New York headquarters for a contented hour final week, elevating questions concerning the scope of the social media large’s safety blacklist and its coverage towards folks related to the notorious information agency.
According to Robert Murtfeld, previously the director of business gross sales for Cambridge Analytica, Facebook safety guards took him apart final Thursday night after he stuffed out his identify in a digital check-in kiosk within the foyer of the corporate’s workplaces at 770 Broadway. The guards knowledgeable Murtfeld’s host, a communications government at Facebook, that Murtfeld wouldn’t be allowed inside. Murtfeld, who didn’t know the host and instructed BuzzFeed News that he had by no means beforehand been inside any Facebook workplace, had been invited to the blissful hour by a mutual good friend who doesn’t work on the firm.
“My host said to me, ‘I don’t know what you’ve done in your private life, but you’re not allowed into this building,’” Murtfeld instructed BuzzFeed News.
It was doubtless Murtfeld’s public life that raised Facebook’s alarm. Murtfeld believes he was banned attributable to his affiliation with Cambridge Analytica. It is unclear if that’s appropriate, and in that case whether or not the ban would lengthen to the entire political consulting agency’s workers — or its shoppers.
Facebook didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark for this story.
In 2018, the Observer and the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica inappropriately harvested private details about tens of thousands and thousands of US residents by way of entry to Facebook’s API. The revelation prompted intense scrutiny of Facebook’s information practices, in addition to the position Cambridge Analytica — based by billionaire Robert Mercer and former Breitbart government and White House adviser Steve Bannon (who schemed to plant a mole at Facebook) — performed within the 2016 US presidential election. The agency shut down in 2018, however Facebook has been repeatedly pressured over the previous two years to reply questions on the way in which third events can use the platform’s scale and focused promoting equipment to affect voters.
Unlike the Cambridge Analytica whistleblowers Christopher Wylie and Brittany Kaiser, and the corporate’s former CEO, Alexander Nix, Murtfeld has not sought the highlight. According to Murtfeld, his work on the information agency predominantly consisted of pitching firms and political events on the corporate’s providers. A narrative final month in South Africa’s Sunday Times described an e mail despatched from Murtfeld to Kaiser on Oct. 11, 2015, that “compiled a list of upcoming elections that could be targeted.” Murtfeld, who’s now director of enterprise improvement for a golf resort in New Jersey, instructed BuzzFeed News that his work by no means concerned direct contact with Facebook.
Last yr, CNBC reported on Facebook’s secretive 12-year-old “BOLO” — or “be on lookout” — listing, a listing of tons of of individuals whom Facebook’s safety workforce considers a menace to the corporate and its workers. The story describes an analogous incident to the one final week, during which an invited customer was screened within the foyer of Facebook’s Menlo Park campus and quickly prevented from getting into. (The host finally intervened with Facebook safety and had the customer faraway from the “BOLO” listing.)
The CNBC report centered totally on people who had made menacing feedback on Facebook. But Murtfeld’s rejection means that former Cambridge Analytica workers are additionally banned from the corporate’s workplaces. (Facebook has suspended the private accounts of a number of folks related to Cambridge Analytica, together with Wylie.) It additionally raises the broader risk that Facebook’s listing of personae non gratae is bigger than beforehand thought, extending to total firms.
“I’m not a security threat,” Murtfeld stated. “I thought the whole thing was outrageous.”