Data whistleblower coming to Aust festival

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie will speak at a Sydney festival in August.
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie will speak at a Sydney festival in August.

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie says he will lift the lid on "dark data" and the way it is being used to influence elections and invade privacy when he speaks at a Sydney festival.

The Canadian data expert, who released a cache of documents that prompted the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal in 2018, has been announced as part of a line-up for the Antidote Festival at the Sydney Opera House.

He will be joined by Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov for a talk on "one of the most important issues of our age", according to the event page.

Australia's Peter Greste, Rappler co-founder Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and other journalists will also feature at the festival.

The speakers will delve into debates on free speech, political polling and other pressing issues such as the manipulation of big data for surveillance and control.

The Sydney Opera House has partnered with The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas for the August 31 to September 1 event.

"The space for rational debate and the contest of ideas is shrinking and Antidote provides a global stage to enlarge that space," Institute director Mark Ryan said in a statement.

"We want to encourage people to actually listen to the other person's argument and respond intelligently with a counter argument based on facts and evidence."

Australian Associated Press