Why H&M Just Hired the Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower

February 1, 2019, 3:03 PM UTC

Christopher Wylie, the tech expert who blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica and its political use of Facebook data, has got a new client: H&M.

Wylie signed a consulting contract with the Swedish fast-fashion company. He will help the retailer use data and artificial intelligence to better understand markets, trends, customers, and products, the website Business of Fashion reported. Another task is the use of “sustainable and ethical” A.I., an H&M spokesperson said.

H&M’s inventory rose to record levels in 2018. Over the past two years came reports that the company burned discarded clothing in a power plant and closed stores amid faltering sales.

A better understanding of data trends should help the company make better strategic and tactical decisions.

Cambridge Analytica used the work Wylie and others did, combined with data scooped from Facebook, to understand how people might vote. One example came from the world of apparel. Wylie had said that people who were interested in Abercrombie & Fitch were more liberal, while those who liked Wrangler tended to be conservative and interested in “orderliness.”