Communitech this week announced that the Pulitzer-nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr who exposed the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data scandal will be a keynote speaker at the True North Festival 2020 this summer.

In 2018, she worked alongside The New York Times to break a story that the political consulting company Cambridge Analytica had illicitly gathered data from millions of Facebook accounts to influence political campaigns, including the successful U.S. presidential bid for Donald Trump in 2016.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, was called to testify by the U.S. Congress once the scandal was exposed. This ultimately led the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to fine Facebook $5 billion, the largest penalty ever levied against a tech company.

At Centre in the Square, during Communitech’s Centre Stage programming on June 3, Cadwalladr will explain how she became the least favourite person for Cambridge Analytica. 

“As we continue conversations around tech for good, it is critical for all of us to examine the implications of the technology that our community is working so hard to develop,” said Saj Jamal, vice-president of marketing and events at Communitech, in a press release. “Carole Cadwalladr has dedicated much of her career to ensuring that big tech is held accountable in the public sphere and we are thrilled to have her share her story at True North. She may not have friends on Facebook, but she has many admirers in Canada.”

In its third year, the festival is scheduled to be held in Kitchener from June 1-7. At this week-long event series, tech founders, policymakers, movers, shakers and creative thinkers come together to explore what it means to be human, and humane, in a tech-driven world.




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