Brittany Kaiser is a data transparency advocate and the former business development director for Cambridge Analytica. The company collapsed after details of its misuse of Facebook data were revealed to have potentially impacted voting in the UK Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election.
Kaiser is a whistleblower who testified about her involvement in the work of Cambridge Analytica before a UK Parliament select committee and the Mueller Investigation. Her experience at the company is shown in the Netflix original documentary, The Great Hack, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Prior to the exposè, in her role as the Director of Business Development Brittany was trained directly by Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix. While she was not privy to all the internal machinations of Cambridge Analytica’s activities as an employee of the company, she had access to many important and sensitive documents and communications, and was witness to a significant number of key meetings.
Brittany Kaiser decided to become a whistleblower for two reasons. Firstly, she wanted the truth about Cambridge Analytica and its activities to be exposed in the public domain. Secondly, she had come to the conclusion that the whole system of data brokerage was flawed and in contravention of fundamental human rights.
When controversy about the company’s practices broke in the news, Brittany agreed to a preliminary debriefing by The Guardian in March 2018 as part of the news organisation’s Cambridge Analytica Files investigation. She provided an initial selection of documents and information, which were the basis for a momentous story on Brexit, the Trump campaign, Facebook, and more.
Brittany’s experience with Cambridge Analytica has deepened her belief that people need and deserve greater rights over both the use and proceeds of their own data. She spends her time exploring ways to empower individuals to protect and take control of their digital rights, assets and identities for their own benefit.
Born in Houston, Texas, Brittany Kaiser grew up in Chicago and went to high school at Phillips Academy Andover. She went on to study at Edinburgh University, before earning postgraduate degrees in international relations at The University of Edinburgh (MA with honours), an LLM in international human rights law at the University of London Birkbeck College, and an Masters in Philosophy in international law and diplomacy at Middlesex University.
While she was studying in Scotland, Kaiser took time off to work on Barack Obama's media team during his presidential campaign in 2007. She also worked for Amnesty International as a lobbyist appealing for an end to crimes against humanity.
After the fall of Gaddafi, Brittany helped establish a company to organise diplomatic conferences in Libya, on topics including trade and investment. Her primary motivation was to work on human rights issues in that country. In parallel, she started her PhD on preventive diplomacy, including studying the development of data-driven early warning systems to prevent possible acts of genocide. She also began consulting to human rights barristers and political campaigns internationally.
These activities, together with her background in the Democratic party, caught the attention of Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix. He offered Brittany a job at the SCL Group, the then-parent company of Cambridge Analytica, as a business-development consultant in late 2014. Brittany quickly excelled at the company and was promoted to Director of Program Development, and then Director of Business Development in 2015. She left the company in January 2018.
She is the founder of the #OwnYourData campaign and cofounder of the Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA), a non-profit lobbying firm advancing legislative and policy reform to protect the rights of individuals to control their own digital assets. She believes corporations such as Facebook must change their terms and conditions to provide transparency, opt-in and property/monetisation rights over the data produced on their platforms.
Brittany has joined the boards of over 10 ethical technology companies to help develop solutions that promote transparency, consent-based data sharing, data sovereignty, and cybersecurity.
She has also recently joined the board of The Centre for Data Privacy, which won the first case against Equifax, to help individuals protect their legal rights over their personal data and file for compensation for data breaches.
Brittany Kaiser is also the author of”Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower’s Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump and Facebook Broke Democracy”, published in October 2019 by Harper Collins.