Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

United Kingdom investigation to go on despite Cambridge Analytica shutdown

United Kingdom investigation to go on despite Cambridge Analytica shutdown

Embattled psychographics firm Cambridge Analytica and its affiliated company SCL Elections announced on 2 May 2018 they will file for insolvency following scandal over its misuse of millions of Facebook users' data in relation to consequential elections.

She said: "The ICO has been investigating the SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica as part of a wider investigation into the use of personal data and analytics by political campaigns, social media companies and others".

The company's recently appointed CEO Julian Wheatland told staffers that the company had evaluated all options and no longer saw a way forward.

Cambridge Analytica always denied wrongdoing and Mr Trump's campaign has said it did not use its data.

After the announcement, Britain's data regulator said it would continue civil and criminal investigations of the firm and will pursue "individuals and directors as appropriate" despite the shutdown.

US-based social media giant Facebook has said that almost 5.62 lakh people in India were "potentially affected" by its global data breach involving Cambridge Analytica. In 2016 they acted in the U.S. Presidential Elections and likely the U.K. European Referendum - the full extent of their actions may never be known.

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Quizzing the British firm on the non-disclosure pacts signed by the company with its associates and clients for Indian assignments, the government also asked it to share the templates that were used in signing such agreements.

Both Channel 4 News and the New York Times have reported that Nigel Oakes, a British director of the SCL Group, has said that Emerdata was set up to acquire and roll together Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group under a new name. Facebook has over 20 crore users in India.

CA was also rocked by undercover recordings appearing to show senior figures in the company boasting about underhand tactics that could be used to entrap opposition politicians, such as bribery and sex.

Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, said Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL Group "cannot be allowed to delete their data history by closing".

Cambridge Analytica have been successfully controlling the minds of thousands of people - if not hundreds of thousands - since 2013. Facebook has said its own probe would continue. Initial funding for Cambridge Analytica came from Republican financier Robert Mercer, who invested at least $10 million in the company as it sought to help exclusively GOP candidates across a range of USA congressional and state legislative elections beginning in 2014.

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.

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