Today odd career pivots: Christopher Wylie, the guy who exposed the Cambridge Analytica scandal, has been hired as a consultant for H&M. He’ll basically use data and AI to help the brand better understand its consumers and their online habits, according to Bloomberg. According to a spokesperson he will “to help H&M group improve its capabilities within consumer, product and market insights. Besides that, he also supports our work on sustainable and ethical AI.”
H&M has struggled in the past several years and in March had racked up $4.3 billion in unsold clothing. Wylie’s job will be to prevent things like that from happening by analyzing consumer habits. And also some stuff in AI. For anyone wondering why someone who was a whistle-blower on data misuse by a political consulting firm would pivot to fashion, rest assured that Wylie has a long-standing interest in the business. At the Business of Fashion VOICES speaking event earlier this year, he revealed that Donald Trump’s campaign team weaponized people’s choice in fashion brands.
“Fashion data was used to build AI models to help Steve Bannon build his Insurgency and build the Alt-Right. We used weaponized algorithms; we used weaponized cultural narratives to undermine people and undermine their perception of reality, and fashion played a big part in that.”
So if you’re a brand, why wouldn’t you want someone who knows all this on your team?