LONDON-Former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser, recognisable to many as the unlikely star of the Netflix documentary The Great Hack, has appeared at Web Summit in Lisbon.

The documentary followed the self-styled whistleblower as she testified to the UK parliament about what she knew when she worked at the firm as a business development manager.

Now with a book out, she has reinvented herself as a data privacy guru aiming to educate youngsters about disinformation, and planning to put data back into the hands of users via blockchain technology.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in 2016 when it emerged that the data of up to 87 million Facebook users had been harvested via a personality quiz - and it’s never been exactly clear how it was used. The consultancy aided Donald Trump’s election campaign. And Ms Kaiser appeared on the firm’s behalf at a Leave.EU Brexit press briefing - the two organisations say they never signed a contract to work together but Ms Kaiser has alleged that “chargeable work was done”.

She said she feared little had changed. Hundreds of companies around the world are still crunching through personal data and throwing it back at people in the form of political ads, she said.

“It is sad that we have to ban all forms of political advertising to stop people being manipulated. But it has to be done,” she added. “Our electoral laws are not fit for purpose. Facebook functions pretty much the same and now it is not going to ban any politicians who are sending disinformation our way.”

While Twitter has moved to ban political advertising, Facebook has not, and she thinks it will need government regulation to force it to.

It’s important, she said, because of the way data is being “weaponised” in political campaigning. “Data-driven campaigning gives you the edge that you need to convince swing votes one way or the other, and also to get certain people to show up to the polls,” she said.