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CONNECT THE WORLD
Company with Links to Trump Campaign in the Spotlight; Global Implications of Misuse of Facebook Data; U.S. and U.K. Demand Answers on Misuse of Personal Data. Aired 11a-12n ET
Aired March 20, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome. This is 'CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, where the time is 7:00 in the
And we start this hour with a story that affects pretty much everyone watching this show. And touches pretty much everything from politics to
all of our personal lives. It's often said that if you're not paying for a product, then you are the product. Today, we are connecting the dots of
data undermining democracy through social networks marketed as a force for good.
At the forefront, Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company best known for its work on President Donald Trump's campaign. A former employee has
gone public with claims that the firm obtained the details of 50 million Facebook users. They're a name we all know. Facebook, the world's biggest
social media firm, accused of hiding a massive harvesting of personal data. And at the center, we have you and me and the impact it will have on our
lives and even our democracies. A journalist from the U.K.'s channel 4 news posed as a possible client to obtain secret footage of executives at
Cambridge Analytica. In this video the managing director of the company's political division, Mark Turnbull, describes the companies approach. Have
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK TURNBULL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: The fundamental human drivers when it comes to taking information on board effectively are
hopes and fears, and many of those are unspoken and are even unconscious. You didn't know that was a fear until you saw something that just evoked
that reaction from you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very good.
TURNBULL: And our job is to get -- is to drop the bucket further down the well than anybody else. To understand what are those really deep-seated
underlying fears, concerns. It's no good fighting an election campaign on the facts, because actually, it's all about emotion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Cambridge Analytica has sent CNN a statement rejecting the allegations made in channel 4's reporting. It says the report is edited
and scripted to grossly misrepresent the nature of the conversations that took place. They say that their executives entertained a series of
ludicrous hypothetical scenarios, end quote.
Well, CEO Alexander Nix said he is aware of how this looks but it is simply not the case when the reporter posing as a prospective client turned the
conversation to entrapment and corruption. The executives left with grave concerns and did not meet with him again.
Nix added, I must emphatically state that Cambridge Analytica does not condone or engage in entrapment, bribes, or so-called honey traps, and nor
does it use untrue material for any purpose. I should have recognized where the prospective client was taking our conversations and ended the
relationship sooner, he said.
Let's look at the global implications of all of this. CNN's Laurie Segall is in New York to talk about the impact on Facebook users and CNN's Isa
Soares is in London. And let me start with you there Isa. Cambridge Analytica is accused of weaponizing personal data and selling it to the
highest bidder and U.K. authorities want answers. What's happening there?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not just U.K. authorities, European authorities, European Parliament too wants answers, Parliamentarians, we
also lawmakers. As you quite rightly said, Becky, anyone who uses Facebook wants answers. They want to know how they got consent. How they used
their data. In the last few hours, we have heard from MP Damian Collins who chairs the culture, media, and sports committee and he wants Facebook
CEO Mark Zuckerberg -- until now has been silent -- to come to the U.K. and testify.
[11:05:02] He also wants Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica -- the firm just behind me -- to testify once more. And the reason I say once
more, Becky, is because he testified last month. And last month, he actually said he's never used Facebook data, he's never worked with
Facebook data. At the same time, a warrant is expected to be issued sometime today to Cambridge Analytica to come and get all their data, to
come and get all their hard drives. To which Cambridge Analytica's replied it is willing to cooperate and is compliant and proactive.
Becky, this is a huge turn of events. A fall from grace for a company that's really prided itself on really profiling psychologically profiling
each person but also critically winning the election for U.S. President Donald Trump.
SOARES (voice-over): Met the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, nine days before the U.S. presidential election in 2016. A man confident
he could get inside the mind of American voters by predicting and then attempting to alter their behavior.
ALEXANDER NIX, CEO, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: I think the data's extremely robust and proven to be so time and again.
SOARES: His data helped this man win. U.S. President Donald Trump, who paid multimillion dollars for them to work their magic. But behind their
winning method is more than just data crunching. It's a massive data grab. So, says their former contractor now turned whistleblower, Chris Wylie.
CHRIS WYLIE, FORMER CONTRACTOR, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: We spent almost $1 million doing this. It wasn't some tiny pilot project. It was the core of
what Cambridge Analytica became. It allowed us to move into the hearts and minds of American voters in a way that had never been done before.
SOARES: And this is what Wylie says they did. Cambridge Analytica received data from a third party, a Professor Alexander Kogan based at the
University of Cambridge, who was able to gather data on tens of millions of Americans through Facebook. And then using a survey placed on Facebook,
they asked users to take a personality test. The answers grouped people on their personality types.
They combined it with voter history, what they buy, where they shop, and what they watch on TV. And that enabled them to predict a personality of
every adult in the United States and then target them with specific political ads. But it goes further. By opting into these Facebook
surveys, each user was actually giving not just their data but many of their Facebook friends.
WYLIE: It was a grossly unethical experiment. Because you are playing with an entire country, the psychology of an entire country without their
consent or awareness.
SOARES: Speaking to the U.K. Parliament committee on data protection of fake news back in February, Cambridge Analytica denied they violated
NIX: They work with Facebook data. We don't have Facebook data. We do use Facebook as a platform to advertise, as do all brands and most
agencies, all agencies, I should say, and we use Facebook as a means to gather data.
SOARES: The attention now turns to Facebook and how it reportedly allowed a data breach on this scale.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As I've said from the beginning --
SOARES: And more importantly, how it was used to reach and influence voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election. In a statement, Facebook
says the claim that this is a data breach is completely false and that those involved certified they had destroyed the data. Meanwhile, it says
it's suspending the accounts of Chris Wylie, Cambridge Analytica, as well as Professor Alexander Kogan, who did not respond to our request for
comment. If anything, it's shined a light on the dark heart of political advertising.
SOARES: And Becky, Cambridge Analytica has said today to CNN that it did not use any Facebook data in the 2016 presidential election but be prepared
for more questions to be asked. Tomorrow is another expose by channel 4 is due later on today that looks at the links between Cambridge Analytica and
U.S. President Donald Trump -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Isa Soares is in London. Stand by for me there. Laurie, Facebook says it has over 2 billion -- billion -- monthly users. That is
more than a quarter of the world's population. And just under 1.5 billion use the site, we are told, every day. What is the impact here on the
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN TECH SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's a good question. I think we're all wondering how are we being targeted? I mean, this is a
company whose business is our data. Who has built its business on us liking things on Facebook. On building a profile of who we are and what we
saw with Cambridge Analytica and how successful they were with it. We really don't know, but they talk about this idea of psychometric targeting.
They talk about this idea of targeting us as users, not based on our age or demographic but on inherent personality traits and messaging us with
certain types of ads. That to appeal to us because we live in a certain place, but they are supposed to appeal to us because we are certain types
of people. Because maybe we're more agreeable or angry and to have certain very specific message tailored to that.
I spoke to one researcher who said within 300 likes on Facebook, he could figure out -- he could know more about you than your spouse would know
about you. I mean, that's an extraordinary statement. And I think we're just beginning to wrap our heads around that.
And I've been talking to sources at Facebook and they say there are a lot of ethical debates happening behind the scenes when it comes to online
political advertising. Because there isn't regulation right now in this field and you know, where they're saying, how much -- when does micro-
targeting turn into manipulation. Should there be this type of targeted advertising? I think that something we're going to hear come out of this.
But as users, I think we're all scratching our heads and saying, what are we seeing? How are we being targeted and are we being manipulated?
ANDERSON: It's fascinating, isn't it? As long as social media has been around -- and let's remember there was a day back in the day when there
wasn't any social media. But let's talk about the last decade or so. The industry -- Facebook and the industry have been absolutely determined that
they are responsible enough to self-regulate. That is now in question. Isn't it? And right now, Facebook is staying pretty quiet. What is going
on inside the company?
SEGALL: Oh, I think it's fascinating what's happening inside the company because all of us want to hear from Mark Zuckerberg or Cheryl Sandberg.
These are the brand names of Facebook. These are names that are known around the world. But what's interesting is talking to top level
executives inside the company, Becky. A lot of executives are saying, where is Mark in front of this. He's behind the scenes but we need him to
be the face of this crisis. We need him to speak more openly. There's one top level executive told me, you know, there's this consensus that he's not
really getting his hands dirt at a time when he really kind of needs to.
And there's this idea that he went last year around the world. He traveled to all different countries and the United States on a bit of a tour to get
outside his Silicon Valley filter bubble. And there's a sense inside of Facebook he has his own communication team. He's in his own filter bubble
and they're protecting him from really trying to tarnish the brand or putting himself out there. And there's a lot of tension within it. People
saying you need to get out in front of these issues. You need to get out there more openly.
And by the way, Becky, these issues are not black and white. They do not have easy answers. There are a lot of ethical questions and ethical
debates happening behind closed doors that deserve a public dialogue. Because they impact, you talk about those 2 billion monthly users, they
impact all of us. So, these decisions, we want to have a better look at it. We want Mark or Cheryl or more executives speaking openly and more
candidly ahead of it as opposed to what we're seeing now, where it's after the fact, crisis mode.
ANDERSON: Yes, I can't think of many other companies where you associate its founder with the company. I mean, Mark Zuckerberg, to many, many
people is Facebook. Briefly, what's been the impact on the company? This is a publicly listed company.
SEGALL: I mean, the company taking a hit. I think you have investors worrying about this. And I think you have a multibillion dollar business
when you look at their revenue model, when you look at their advertising model, it's inherently tied up in the use of our data. You know, you even
look at the time well spent movement. Recently I was at Facebook interviewing their vice president of news feed who was talking about, you
know, we need to get users actually off the platform and taking a little bit more time for themselves and using it in a more positive way. I said,
won't that impact the business? And he said, yes, but we're willing to take a hit.
I think this is going to be a very interesting year for Facebook. I think, you know, this era of good intentions has turned into an era of unintended
consequences, and we're going to see the business take a hit and some hard questions about the way this company was inherently built -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Laurie Segall's on the story out of New York for you. Back to London and let's repeat, Tuesday, Cambridge Analytica tweeting, no Facebook
data was used by our data science team in the 2016 presidential campaign. What's the future for this company at this point?
SOARES: Well, that is very much up in the air. And the CEO, Alexander Nix, when he made that statement to CNN, grossly saying that the channel
for peace was edited grossly misleading. So, you have to think of all the employees that he worked in. He's even said in a piece today for the
"Times" newspaper that if needs to step down to ensure the survival of the company, he will, Becky.
[11:15:02] But you know, following on from that expose last night and perhaps the one coming out tonight, where they paint a picture of
themselves, of ghosting in and ghosting out as they're saying, with very dirty tactics, really, in which they prey on people's hopes and fears. I
mean, this is something that has people here spitting feathers. The fact, they said he doesn't have to be believed. It doesn't have to be true. It
just has to be believed. This is reverberating right around the U.K. as these words come out here. So, no doubt that what is issued tonight goes
beyond just the data, Becky, but exactly the ethics behind this company.
ANDERSON: Isa Soares is in London on a company that prides itself, sells itself on discretion and its reputation. This cannot be good news.
And there is, of course, a Washington connection here as we have been discussing. Donald Trump's campaign hired Cambridge Analytica in June of
2016 to help with its data operations. By August, former Cambridge Analytica vice president, Steve Bannon, would become the CEO of the Trump
campaign. And as we know, Bannon later briefly served as White House chief strategist after Mr. Trump won the election.
A whistle blower who worked for Cambridge Analytica said some remarkable things to CNN about slogans the company was testing as far back as 2014.
Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WYLIE: We were testing all kinds of messages and all kinds of imagery that included, you know, images of walls, people scaling walls. You know, we
tested drain the swamp. You know, testing ideas of the deep state and the NSA watching you and the government is, you know, conspiring against you.
And a lot of these narratives, which at the time would have seemed, you know, crazy for a mainstream candidate to run on, those were the things
that we were finding that there were pockets of Americans who this really appealed to. And Steve Bannon knew that because we were doing the research
on it. And I was surprised when I saw the Trump campaign started talking about building walls or draining the swamp. And I'm remembering in my
head, wait, we tested this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: A Democratic lawmaker calling on that whistle blower to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in Washington as part of its
investigation into Russian election meddling and -- sorry, let me repeat his name. Adam Schiff wants Christopher Wylie to give more details about
how Facebook data was allegedly misused, where that data was stored, and whether third parties accessed and exploited the information, including in
Well, clearly this is an incredibly important story. It is complicated. But we are doing our utmost, as ever, on this show to break it down for
you. One big question running through running through all of what is this intricate story is a truly democratic election even possible in the digital
age? More on that in a little later in this broadcast.
Coming up tonight, powerful man from the east is making a royal visit to the West Wing. How Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince is building relations one
U.S. city at a time.
[11:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Well, it's 20 past 7:00 in the UAE. You are watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
It is his first visit to the White House since becoming Saudi's crown prince. Now, Mohammed bin Salman is making the first leg of what is an
ambitious charm offensive in the United States. First, Washington and then six other cities over the course of the next two weeks. Some of the
thorniest issues in the Middle East on the agenda include Russia's role in the region, the Yemen conflict, and of course, Iran. The Saudi ambassador
to the U.S. spoke to my colleague, Wolf Blitzer, a little earlier. Have a listen to some of what they discussed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE KHALID BIN SALMAN, SAUDI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Iran represent the number one threat to the region. The number one threat to the
international security. They are continuing to escalate with their activities in the region and they have currently, as they have said, they
have launched 95 ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia, including our capital. And this is unacceptable. So, just imagine if there is a
terrorist militia in the United States borders launching ballistic missiles to Washington, New York, and Texas. This would be also, unacceptable to
any American citizen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That is Prince Khalid bin Salman, the ambassador to Washington, the Crown Prince's brother. The Crown Prince also vying for more
investment in his country after an anticorruption crackdown that has left investor morale shaken. CNNMoney emerging markets editor -- it's always
difficult to say that. I should just say John Defterios joins me. You all know who he is. My colleague John.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNNMONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You're not the first person that said that.
ANDERSON: Listen, Mohammed bin Salman has arrived in Washington. We will see him at the White House within the next hour or so. He is hoping to
achieve a number of things. What in Washington, the United States?
DEFTERIOS: Well, I would almost put it into two different buckets. One's a geopolitical bucket, and the other one is business. Let's cover the
politics first and foremost. You've heard the ambassador to Washington from Saudi Arabia, his younger brother, suggest Iran tops the list. This
is a regional foe. The reason I think it's very important at this meeting is because they see this as a window of opportunity, former Secretary of
State, Rex Tillerson, is out of the way. Mike Pompeo is going to be the nominee and sit before Congress. There's very little difference between
Pompeo's position and President Trump's position. And therefore, taking a step further, very little difference between Mohammed bin Salman and
They even want to take a hard line. They're pushing for the May 12th deadline on the sanctions. We have to watch that space very carefully.
It'll change the dynamic in the Middle East as you very well know with the UAE backing Saudi Arabia here and it'll change the dynamics of the
sanctions and the ability of Iran to export oil.
The other thing I think is added to the list now is the twist with Russia on the table because of the pivot from Riyadh to Moscow in 2017. They have
a $20 billion gas deal that's on the table. Moscow has been willing to put money into a private placement for Saudi Aramco. There is an idea here
that President Trump could say to Mohammed bin Salman, I thought we were close partners, we had that meeting in May of 2017 and signed contracts
here. Aren't you going to put pressure on Moscow to come our way on Iran and Syria. You can see the tradeoff behind closed doors.
ANDERSON: It was interesting. I remember when we had this discussion around about the time when the Saudis were in -- when King Salman was in
Moscow. And I remember you put it to one of your sources, are we seeing a pivot. At the time, they said, listen, we'll do business with whoever we
want to. There wasn't necessarily -- there was no real message, they said, but now who knows in the world of global politics and diplomacy. But what
about foreign investment? What about the cash? Because Donald Trump wants to make America great again.
[11:25:00] How can the Saudis help? And in turn, how can Washington and the rest of these big cities and businesses in the States help to make a
DEFTERIOS: OK, it's a little bit of payback I think for Mohammed bin Salman here. He signed those defense contracts in May of 2017 for $100
billion. This is what brought Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman closer together.
ANDERSON: To help make America great again.
DEFTERIOS: Of course. And Jared Kushner, of course, was very instrumental behind the scenes, the son-in-law, to bring those two together. Why there
was success at the meeting. This is a coast to coast visit. This is a big tour for Mohammed bin Salman. He needs to convince people that the
crackdown on corruption is now behind them. It can allow international investors. U.S. investors to come in and they'll be protected. That's
I find it interesting he's going to finish in Houston where there's, of course, lots of oil and gas. Saudi Aramco is a big investor in Texas, a
big trader, a big refiner in the United States, so Aramco's there. And that's the $2 trillion question on the table right now. When and where?
When, probably, is going to be in early 2019 from the sources I've been speaking to. Where is a tough job? Donald Trump is suggesting New York
stock exchange. Sources inside that I spoke to in Riyadh today, said look, too risky in New York, perhaps London and Hong Kong, private placement that
I talked about in Russia and China. One thing is for certain, Khalid al- Falih, the minister of energy told me last week, we're going to lead out with Riyadh in the home Market. Let's first listen to him and then we can
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHALID AL-FALIH, SAUDI OIL MINISTER: The only thing we know today is that the Dow will be the key listing location as our national exchange. And
we're waiting for the reforms to be in place and to join the MSCI. And Aramco listing into Dow will be catalytic for that capital Market as we
bring international capital into the kingdom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: Catalytic for the market. That market doesn't even have $500 billion of market cap. So, it's not deep enough to handle Aramco on its
own. MSCI is the emerging market ranking system. They may clear it in June, that means they would be ready in early 2019. Hence the delay of the
IPO probably to 2019. We know Donald Trump's quite the salesman, Becky. Can he turn this around and say New York's going to be safe for the kingdom
and for the Crown Prince to have bragging rights to go on Wall Street? I think that's a tough sell internally in Aramco.
ANDERSON: Fascinating times. John, across this story as John pointed out, Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, makes his way across
America. Well, that first meeting with Donald Trump set to take place in a little over half an hour. We'll be all over that for you bringing you the
very latest as it happens. That's in Washington. Stay with us for that. Mr. Defterios, thank you.
Let's get you up to speed there on some of the other stories that are on our radar today.
And in the U.S. state of Maryland, three people have been injured in a school shooting. Students are being evacuated from the Great Mills High
School, the local sheriff's office says the event has been contained.
Well, the U.S. state of Texas is on edge after an explosion outside San Antonio. Officials say a package exploded at a FedEx facility. No one was
seriously hurt. Officials say they don't know if this is connected to four bombings in the Austin area.
And 23 Russian diplomats are returning home from Britain. U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, expelled them last week in response to the use of
Russian nerve agent on British soil. The Kremlin has denied involvement in that attack.
Well, the U.S. says military exercises with South Korea will begin April 1st. That is before possible talks between Donald Trump and the North
Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The annual military operation will involve about 300,000 troops. North Korea has, in the past, considered it a
So, what is involved in laying the groundwork for what is this possible Donald Trump/Kim Jong-un meeting? You can find out about that and get
updates on many other stories at our website. That is CNN.com.
Still to come on telly, hidden cameras capture the CEO of Cambridge Analytica making, well, quite frankly, some startling remarks about how to
disrupt elections. We'll have more of that expose from Britain's channel 4 just ahead.
[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: You're with CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
I want to get you back to our top story, the powerful combination of data and disinformation, weaponized to disrupt Democratic elections around the
world. As incredible as it may seem, a British based company is facing allegations that it did just that. With the help of harvested information
from unwitting Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica, best known for its work on Donald Trump's campaign, is also under investigation in the U.K.
for possible links to the "Leave EU" movement. Remember that Brexit referendum back in 2016? Well, that's what we're talking about here.
Cambridge Analytica promising to share information with investigators and says it does not use untrue material for any purpose. But an undercover
investigation appears to tell a very different story. We had part of the expose by Britain's channel 4 earlier. Here's another clip of that where a
hidden camera captures the CEO of Cambridge Analytica discussing how bribes and sex workers could be used to entrap a candidate in a democratic
election. Have a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what we want to know is what is the expertise of the deep digging that you could do to make sure that the people know the
true identity and secrets of these people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: Oh, we do a lot more than that. I mean deep digging is interesting, but you know, it can be effective can be
just to go and speak to the incumbents and to offer them a deal that's too good to be true and make sure that that's video recorded. You know, those
sorts of tactics are very effective, instantly having video evidence of corruption and putting it on the internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the operative you will use for this is who?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: Well, someone known to us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, so it is somebody, you won't use a Sri Lankan person.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: No, no we'll have a wealthy developer come in, somebody posing as a wealthy developer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A master of disguise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: Yes, they will offer a large amount of money to the candidate to finance his campaign in exchange for
land, for instance. We'll have the whole thing recorded on cameras. We'll blank out the face of our guy and post it on the internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, on Facebook or YouTube, or something like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: Send some girls round to the candidate's house. We have lots of history of things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For example, you're saying when you're using the girls to introduce to the local fellow, and you are using the girls for this,
like the seduction? They are not local girls, not Sri Lankan girls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: I wouldn't have thought so, no. We'll bring some, I mean, that was just an idea. Just saying we could
bring some Ukrainians in on holiday with us, you know what I'm saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. They are very beautiful Ukrainian girls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: They are very beautiful. I find that works very well.
ANDERSON: Well, Cambridge Analytica has sent CNN a statement rejecting the allegations made in Channel 4's reporting. It says the report is edited
and scripted to grossly misrepresent of the conversations that took place. They say their executives, quote, entertained a series of ludicrous
hypothetical scenarios, end quote. CEO Alexander Nix said he is aware of how this all looks, but it is simply not the case, he says, when the
reporter posing as a prospective client turned the conversation to entrapment and corruption, the executives left with grave concerns and did
not meet him again.
Nix added, I must emphatically state that Cambridge Analytica does not condone or engage in entrapment, bribes, or so-called honeytraps and nor
does it use untrue material for any purpose. He said, I should have recognized where the prospective client was taking our conversations and
ended the relationship sooner. He said.
Well, our next guest is Phillip Howard. He's a professor with the Oxford Internet Institute. Part of a study that found Twitter and Facebook have
become, and I quote, vessels of propaganda and manipulation. Professor, you've studied the use of data by companies like Cambridge Analytica as
well as other forms of profiling, what you call manipulation online and across social media. What have you found, and how?
PHILLIP HOWARD, PROFESSOR, OXFORD INTERNET INSTITUTE: Well, we've found that it's a very big business, that millions of voters are profiled by
firms like Cambridge Analytica and then those profiles are used to send direct political messages and often misinformation to voters in the days
before they have to vote.
ANDERSON: So, what you're saying is Cambridge Analytica and the allegations against the organization are by no means unique, correct?
HOWARD: That's correct. It's quite a large industry. Cambridge Analytica is one of the most high-profile firms at the moment because they supported
Trump's bid for the presidency.
ANDERSON: You have warned that much more has to be done to stymie what you call the tide of break news. Like what?
HOWARD: Well, it's probably time for social media firms to give more information to election commissions. Here in the U.K., Cambridge Analytica
is under investigation by the election commission, as you mentioned, for its involvement during Brexit. It would be fairly straightforward for
firms to provide an archive of political ads after a campaign so that we can all see how political micro targeting actually works.
ANDERSON: Let me just take a look at why all of this matters and remind our viewers why it all matters and what Facebook does with users' data.
When we talk about users, I'm talking about the millions, in fact, 2.5 billion people around the world who use the site regularly. It sells
personal information to advertisers and developers. Those can include age, location, political affiliation, likes, your info is bundled with others
and stripped of names. Advertisers use information to target audiences.
HOWARD: Right. And that --
ANDERSON: Are you talking about the need to -- go on?
HOWARD: Well, that information will get married with credit card records, with census data. It will get married with any information that political
parties might have on you, on your giving history, and all that's used to create a profile of how safely conservative or safely liberal you are or it
will be used to identify you as an undecided, and then if they think you're undecided, they'll figure out what push points, what pressure points will
move your opinion in a particular direction.
[11:40:00] ANDERSON: So, the NSA whistle-blower that many of our viewers will remember, Edward Snowden, tweeted Saturday saying, in short, Facebook
is a surveillance company rebranded as social media. Is this going too far? And if it isn't what should be done?
HOWARD: Well, it certainly is a surveillance company in that most of this data is actually bought and sold for the advantage of advertisers. So,
it's usually used -- these complex psychographics are used to sell you soap, to sell you consumer goods. It's only a small fraction of the
business that involves politicians. That's just the unseemliest side of it all.
I think Facebook is a surveillance company. That's what their business model is based on. And in an interesting way, these Silicon Valley firms
have the best data on public life the way libraries used to have data, or the government census used to have the best data on what we wanted as
citizens, what we wanted for our democracies. Now it's social media firms that have the best data on the public.
ANDERSON: How damaging is this to democracy?
HOWARD: I think it's quite damaging. It means that large amounts of misinformation can be concentrated. We found in our own research that
large amounts of misinformation was concentrated in swing states in the United States during the 2016 election, and I think it's important to spend
time thinking about what happened during Brexit and what happened during November 2016, but at this moment, there are several other countries around
the world, South Africa, Hungary, there's elections coming up in Egypt, democracy in India, Indonesia, Brazil, there's many democracies around the
world where these same tricks that have been plied on the U.S. and the U.K. are now being plied in elections are under the world.
ANDERSON: Sir, is it too late to regulate these behemoths? For a decade or more now, as long as they've been in existence, they have said, don't
worry about us, we're in it to win it, we're in it for good, it's all about the public. We don't need any regulation. Is that -- even if the
governments decided to regulate these organizations now, is it too late?
HOWARD: It's not too late, and I think there's a growing consensus among policymakers that the moment for industry self-regulation has passed. The
trick will be not to overregulate. So just as bad as having firms monopolize large amounts of data would be having governments regulating
content in a deep way. There's a variety of policy mechanisms some governments are thinking about, some thinking about -- are thinking about
anti-trust action. Some are thinking about content regulations. Probably the content regulations are not the way to go.
ANDERSON: Somebody recently suggesting that data is like the new oil as A.I. is like the new electricity. It's absolutely Fascinating. Let's see
what happens next. Professor Howard, thank you for your insight. We've been talking about the crisis of trust over these Facebook revelations
during this show, and that triggered Market losses for other big tech companies as well, along with Facebook's 7 percent tumble on the Nasdaq,
Amazon, Netflix, and Google also fell.
Besides rattling investors, Britain's House of Commons and the U.S. Senate are demanding answers from Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, about the
secret harvesting of data from 50 million Americans, allegedly to help data firms' clients manipulate the U.S. elections. The public relations
nightmare also triggering pushback from Facebook users. CNNMoney correspondent Paul La Monica is joining us now with more on the big
question of how we deal with data going forward, Paul?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think this is going to be the big question, Becky. A lot of people are wondering what will Facebook
do to respond to this crisis, and I think it's safe to call it one at this point. Will the company will forced to have Mark Zuckerberg and other
senior executives appear in front of Congress and legislative bodies in Europe as well, to take bigger -- to talk about the bigger steps that
they're going to take to safeguard user data and privacy?
Because we are talking about global elections that potentially have been swayed because of what has happened with regards to Facebook. These are
obviously very serious concerns and Wall Street is finally taking it seriously as well. Facebook stock is down sharply again today.
ANDERSON: The problem is, Paul, that these companies are all about data, and that's how they run their businesses. So, any regulation, any clamp
down on privacy, surely, that will massively affect the businesses that are these social media behemoths going forward.
[11:45:00] LA MONICA: Definitely. Facebook is, first and foremost, a new media company. It is an advertising company, even though they have taken
some steps to diversify their revenue stream beyond advertising and marketing, we know that Facebook it is like the old TV networks if you
will. I mean, this is a company that really relies on selling ads, and that is probably not going to change any time soon, and I think that's why
there are worries about Google as well, because Google, as a search company, also owns YouTube, has also become part of this bigger question of
just what data can potentially marketers have access to.
ANDERSON: I think one of the biggest problems with all of this, and the reason why this is shocking people so much, Paul, is that you say we know
what these companies are. So many people around the world will say, well, we sort of know, but we didn't really realize how commoditized we were.
Look, were going to close it out at this point, so I need to take a break. We'll have you back. This is absolutely fascinating, and as I've said a
number of times this hour, this is not going away.
Thank you. Live from Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up tributes are pouring in for this one of a kind creature. The world says
farewell to the last male Northern White Rhino.
ANDERSON: It's about 10 to 8:00 here in the UAE. Welcome back. A few more minutes to go, and during that time, I want to get you to a story
about more than the death of an animal. We are essentially seeing extinction in front of our eyes. The world's last northern male White
Rhino has died in Kenya. His handlers at the Nature Conservancy said 45- year-old Sudan had an amazing personality like a gentle giant. Farai Sevenzo, joining us now from a conservation park in Kenya with more
on what is this sad milestone. And the challenge for scientists trying to protect this and other highly endangered species.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Becky. This is a critically endangered animal. There are different species of rhinos, you've got the
Black Rhinos, You've got the Southern White Rhinos and the Northern White Rhinos and that is the place Sudan came from. It was called Sudan because he was born
there in 1973 and then his life took a turn.
In 1975, he was captured and sent to a Czech zoo, which was then Czechoslovakia and that, Becky, is what ironically saved his life.
[11:50:00] Because here in Africa, all his relatives were being poached, there were wars all over the Congo and basically the rhinos in this sub
species were dying out by the score. In fact, now, science is trying to see if they can meet the cutting edge of new technology, biological
technology, use similar kind of inventions and the whole idea of IVF for wild animals. It's a very exciting time for these scientists. They're
trying to fuse conservation and science by harvesting the eggs of the two remaining females behind us and then using Sudan's sperm, and then baby
putting all of that together in a surrogate Southern White Rhino surrogate mother. It's exciting time for science, but of course we all know why we
have come to this point, Becky.
Poaching has been unhindered. People actually believe that the rhino horn from the far east is some kind of medicine. Some people were using that
rhino horn as handles for daggers in the Yemen. So really, after 55 million years in existence, it's just took 200 years to wipe out this
ANDERSON: And lest we forget, Farai, for anybody out there who thinks the industry of poaching has been not done ahead. You say what?
SEVENZO: Oh, absolutely. That is not the case. Really, if you think about the poverty levels that Africans have, many more people are being
captured every day. Many poachers are being sentenced to life sentences in jail as far as afield as Zimbabwe, Zambia, of course here in Kenya.
Massive wildlife country, they still have that problem.
Game rangers have lost their lives to these people. And of course, because of the money involved, they've upped their game. They're moving around
with GPS trackers, using sophisticated weaponry. It's not over yet for the rhino and at this particular conservancy, they're doing their best to keep
ANDERSON: Farai Sevenzo at the conservancy park where the last rhino of that ilk has passed away. Farai, always a pleasure. Thanks, mate.
More ahead, including what is a very special new year celebration.
ANDERSON: Just time tonight for your parting shots. This is the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, but it has added significance for
many people around the world. This is the Persian New Year or Norooz. It's a festival celebrated with food and other traditions. Have a look at
[11:55:00] I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD from the team here in Abu Dhabi, and London and those working with in Atlanta, it is a
very good evening. Thank you for watching. CNN, of course, continues after this short break.