Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Bosses of collapsed Cambridge Analytica could still face action - ICO

Oscar Goodwin | 04 May, 2018, 14:19

Embattled political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica announced that it will cease most operations and file for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for Mr Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The company's recently appointed CEO Julian Wheatland told staffers that the company had evaluated all options and no longer saw a way forward. Reacting to the news, senior IT Ministry officials in New Delhi said the Indian Government will continue with its enquiry into the Cambridge Analytica data leak issue. Cambridge Analytica claim the number of people whose data was harvested was 30 million, whilst Facebook claim this number is 87 million.

He called the revelations about the way Facebook users' information was shared by Facebook with third-party groups "discouraging and alarming".

Ms Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorised way, adding that the data provisions act requires services like Facebook to have strong safeguards against misuse of data. Facebook and Dr. Kogan had a close relationship, with Facebook sharing aggregate user data to feed into GSR models. Facebook has said its own probe would continue.

Cambridge Analytica used this and other data - collected from data brokers and other sources - to fuel its Project Ripon, an effort to win Republican races that was named for the birthplace of the party, Ripon, Wisconsin. Nix was suspended by Cambridge Analytica's board after Britain's Channel 4 published an undercover camera investigation in which he was caught discussing dirty election tricks like using sex workers to seduce and then blackmail candidates. The company says it was forced to close because negative news reports caused them to lose business, saying "the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company's customers and suppliers". "Despite the company's precarious financial condition, Cambridge Analytica intends to fully meet its obligations to its employees, including with respect to notice periods, severance terms, and redundancy entitlements". Additionally, parallel bankruptcy proceedings will soon be commenced on behalf of Cambridge Analytica and certain of the Company's U.S. affiliates in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of NY.

It's worth noting that despite the apocalyptic language of Cambridge Analytica's statements, United Kingdom reports indicate that another "data processing" business, Emerdata Ltd., has been registered at the same address as Cambridge parent company SCL Elections, with Emerdata and Cambridge Analytica sharing several managers and investors. Apps and websites that use features such as the Like button or Facebook Analytics send us information (https://bit.ly/2qDLvFm) to make their content and ads better.

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