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Mercer's Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy

by Oui Wed May 2nd, 2018 at 09:09:03 PM EST

While the pundits are looking Eastward towards Russia, the real culprits of Brexit and Trump's blitzkrieg are going South.

Cambridge Analytica to close down after Facebook data scandal | NBC News |

In Wednesday's statement, the company said that the deluge of media reports on its data acquisition were "unfounded accusations," and claimed it was being "vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising."

In a report by Gizmodo's Melanie Ehrenkranz, who broke the story, SCL chairman Julian Wheatland said the decision to shutter the firm came after damage to the company's reputation stemming from its data collection scandal, which led the firm to bleed clients.

More below the fold ...

Cambridge Analytica has deep ties to the Trump campaign and White House. Former Trump White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who also served as the chief executive of Trump's election campaign, helped launch Cambridge Analytica. Republican billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, were Cambridge Analytica's primary source of funding [NYT]. The Mercers were simultaneously the founders and primary donors to Make America Number 1, a super PAC run by Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, before the two joined the Trump campaign.

Rebekah Mercer and her sister Jennifer joined the board of a new data gathering company called Emerdata on March 16, but it is unclear what their roles will be.  

Meet The Man Behind Cambridge Analytica, Who Made Trump President

The bandwagon rolls on under a new disguise ...

Cambridge Analytica 2.0 Linked to Erik Prince

Leaked: Cambridge Analytica's blueprint for Trump victory | The Guardian |

The blueprint for how Cambridge Analytica claimed to have won the White House for Donald Trump by using Google, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is revealed for the first time in an internal company document obtained by the Guardian.

The 27-page presentation was produced by the Cambridge Analytica officials who worked most closely on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

A former employee explained to the Guardian how it details the techniques used by the Trump campaign to micro-target US voters with carefully tailored messages about the Republican nominee across digital channels.

Intensive survey research, data modelling and performance-optimising algorithms were used to target 10,000 different ads to different audiences in the months leading up to the election. The ads were viewed billions of times, according to the presentation.

Intensive survey research, data modelling and performance-optimising algorithms were used to target 10,000 different ads to different audiences in the months leading up to the election. The ads were viewed billions of times, according to the presentation.

None of the techniques described in the document are illegal. However, the scandal over Cambridge Analytica’s acquisition of data from more than 50 million Facebook users is lifting the lid on an industry that has learned how to closely track the online footprint and daily lives of US voters.

Despite the advances made in data-led political campaigning, these were techniques that, according to the presentation, Trump did not have access to when Cambridge Analytica joined his campaign in early June 2016.

One of the first things Cambridge Analytica did, she said, was work with data supplied by the party’s data trust and other data acquired through an initiative called Project Alamo.

The document contains very little information about how the campaign used Facebook data. One page, however, suggests Cambridge Analytica was able to constantly monitor the effectiveness of its messaging on different types of voters, giving the company and the campaign constant feedback about levels of engagement on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.

Democracy Unplugged, Regime Change and Project Alamo

ahhh, Project Alamo and Project Big Daddy. Palantir came up in Zuckerberg's interrogatory at the Senate Judiciary & Commrce Committees Joint Hearing, "Facebook Data Use", 10 April, 2018. I listened to all four hours last weekend. Fun stuff. Something like pity for Zuck crawled into my heart. Then I sprayed it with Round Up®

@ 00:56:06
CANTWELL: Do you know who Palantir is?
CANTWELL: Some people have refered to them as Stanford Analytica. Do you agree?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I have not heard that.
CANTWELL: Okay. Do you think Palantir taught Cambridge Analytica, as press reports are saying, how to do these tactics?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I don't know.
CANTWELL: Do you think Palantir has ever scraped data from Facebook? [NYT]
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I'm not aware of that.
CANTWELL: M'kay. Do you think that during the 2016 campaign that as Cambridge Analytica was providing support to the Trump campaign under Project Alamo were there any Facebook people involved with that, sharing of technique and information? [NYT][BLOOMBERG],[GUARDIAN]
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we provided support to the Trump campaign similar to what we provide to any advertiser or campaign who asks for it.
CANTWELL: So that was a yes. Is that a yes?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, would you repeat the specific question? I just want to make sure I get specifically what you're asking.
CANTWELL: During the 2016 campaign Cambridge Analytica worked with the Trump campaign to refine tactics, and were Facebook employees involved in that?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I don't know that our employees were involved with Cambridge Analytica although I know that we did help out with the Trump campaign over all in sales support in the same way that we do with other campaigns.
CANTWELL: So they may have been involved and all working together during that time period. Maybe that's something your investigation will find out?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I can certainly have my team get back to you on any specifics there that I don't know sitting here today.
CANTWELL: Have you heard of total information awareness? Do you know what I'm talking about?
ZUCKERBERG: No, I do not.
CANTWELL: Okay. Total information awareness was 2003, John Ashcroft and others were trying to do similar things to what I think is behind all this geopolitical forces trying to get data and information to influence a process. [ASC], [LRON], [FAS], [CRS, [BLOOMBERG].

So when I look at Palantir and what they're doing, and I look at WhatsApp which is another [Facebook] acquisition, and I look at where you are to the 2011 consent decree and where you are today, I'm thinking, Is this guy out-foxing the foxes? Or, Is he going along with what is a major trend in an information age to try to harvest information for political forces? And so my question to you is, Do you see that those applications, those companies Palantir and even WhatsApp are going to fall into the same situation that you've just fallen into over the last several years?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I'm not, I'm not sure specifically. Over all, I do think that these issues around information access are challenging. To the specifics of those apps, I'm not really that familiar with what Palantir does. um, WhatsApp collects very little information, and I think is less likely to have the kind of issues because of the way the services is architected [SIC]. But certainly I think these are broad issues across tech industry.
CANTWELL: Well, I guess, given the track record where Facebook is and why you're here today, I guess, people would say, they didn't act boldly enough and the fact that, um, people like John Bolton basically was an investor in a New York Times article earlier, I guess, it was actually last month, that the Bolton pack was upset about how America was becoming limp-wristed and spineless and had wanted research and messaging in national security issues. [CT. FEDERAL CLAIMS].

So the fact that, you know, there are a lot of people who are interested in this larger effort and what I think my constituents want to know is, Was this discussed at your board meetings? And, What are the applications and interests that are being discussed without putting real teeth into this? We don't want to come back to this situation again. I believe, you have all the talent. My question is whether you have all the will to help us solve this problem.
ZUCKERBERG: Yes, Senator. So data privacy and foreign interference in elections are certainly topics we've discussed at the board meetings. These are some of the biggest issues that the company has faced, and we feel a huge responsibility to get these right.
CANTWELL: Do you believe European regulation should be applied here in the U.S.?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I think, everyone in the world deserves good privacy protection. And regardless of whether we implement the exact same regulation, I would guess, that it would be somewhat different because we have somewhat different sensibilities in the U.S. as does other countries. We're committed to rolling out the controls and the affirmative consent and the special controls around sensitive types of technology like facial recognition that are required in GDPR [GDPREU],[ICO.ORG.UK].

We're doing that around the world. So I think it's certainly worth discussing whether we should have something similar in the U.S. But what I would like to say today is, we're going to go forward and implement regardless of what the regulatory outcome is.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed May 2nd, 2018 at 10:51:02 PM EST
You sources don't seem to aware of the differences between dead and zombie.
Although Cambridge Analytica might be dead, the team behind it has already set up a mysterious new company called Emerdata. According to Companies House data, Alexander Nix is listed as a director along with other executives from SCL Group. The daughters of the billionaire Robert Mercer are also listed as directors.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 12:16:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh. All I did was transcribe parts of a US senate hearing. I make no warranty as to the veracity of participants' remarks.

That said, I'm certain Oui covered the intricate relationships ("psychology") between living, "real" principals with ownership interests in the CORPORATION known as SCL. Let's take a peek ... [1], [2], [3] ... then there's World Socialist Website

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 07:03:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the Mercers will hang CA in the closet, but they won't shut down the actual operation, and by midsummer they'll have pulled out a half-dozen new fronts to replace it, while the media content themselves with "reporting" what's going on in CA's bankruptcy.
by rifek on Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 11:25:10 PM EST

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