back to article Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata

The company formerly known as Cambridge Analytica shocked the media today when it announced an immediate shutdown and liquidation of its business. That "shutdown," however, may be short-lived as official documents indicate those behind the controversial analytics company will be launching as a new firm with a less-toxic brand …

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Windows

Here comes the new boss.

Same as the old boss.....

Now, lets see if they actually manage to put on opaque clothing.

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Re: Here comes the new boss.

Sort of like when Blackwater become Xe Academi, lose the name with the tainted rep but the same people will run it and the same shady stuff like continue to be done.

I'm sure CA's Facebook user lists will be used at the new company, but it will be kept very hush-hush / need to know so only a handful of high level employees will know and they won't go bragging about it to customers. Instead they'll serve up some spiel about "proprietary AI algorithms that produce results at least as good as what CA did with the Facebook user lists <wink wink>"

No way they'll delete it, that data is too valuable. Besides that data has probably been sold to / traded to / stolen by other firms doing similar work by now, they will see it as a competitive necessity to keep using it.

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Boffin

Meh.... Re: Here comes the new boss.

Cambridge Analytica didn't do anything wrong.

They played by FB rules.

And remember that FB *gave* Obama access freely to the same data.

Yet w Trump's team *buying* access? Everyone is up in arms.

Lets be fair and place blame on the punters who didn't think or care that the free service(s) they got were really stealing their data.

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Mushroom

Down voted really? Re: Meh.... Here comes the new boss.

Let me get this straight....

Are you ok with FB capturing data about you and capturing data not just on FB users but others because sites like El Reg link their js code?

Are you therefore OK when they freely share this information w Obama's team?

The researcher who sold the data to CA is the one who broke the rules w FB. Not CA. Nor Trump campaign which paid CA to use the data.

So what's the outrage?

IMHO if you're dumb enough to have FB account... then you have no reason to be outraged. If you don't have a FB account, then you have a reason to be outraged. But lets be clear. Not CA or Trump but at FB

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@ Ian Michael Gumby: No-one gives a toss

... about Trump or Obama.

This is a UK tech site, not the Faux News site - we don't care who did worse, we're just pissed off that F*ckbook allowed anyone to do it at all!

This isn't a political issue, it's a moral one! You know what morals are, right? You can tell the difference, yeah? You're not some simpleton with their head up their arse about their personal bogeyman on the other team and who has absolutely no perspective whatsoever and not the least clue what's going on, are you?

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Re: Meh.... Here comes the new boss.

"Cambridge Analytica didn't do anything wrong.

They played by FB rules."

That's two different things. CA did do wrong, even though they played by Facebook's rules. Facebook also did (and does) wrong on the same issue.

But let's not forget that the Facebook thing is only a small part of CA's wrongdoing. Even if we ignore it completely, they were clearly engaging in behavior that was wrong however you look at it, and in violation of laws. Have we forgotten the video of the CEO admitting that?

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Re: Down voted really? Meh.... Here comes the new boss.

Meanwhile in Cam Anal's offices.....

Nix: We are really in the s*** here, no amount of Ukranian entertainment units are going to get us out of this mess.

Minion: Should we deploy some analytics and advertising gizmo wizadry to get across the message that what we do isnt that bad compared to chucking kittens in a blender and really polish that turd sir?

Nix: No, we need something more powerful than that, something that can only be found in a trailerpark, something born of an unholy union between close relatives and livestock.

Minion: Are you sure sir? Really?

Nix: Yes, call Gumby, he can save the day..............

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Re: Down voted really? Meh.... Here comes the new boss.

All: Because he's GUMBY, dammit!!!

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Re: Here comes the new boss.

That would be Blackwater/Xe/Academi run by Erik Prince who is also linked to Emerdata?

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Re: Meh.... Here comes the new boss.

Cambridge Analytica was a red herring. Concentrating on them avoided questions about who in the other camp got and used the same sort of info in exactly the same way.

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The title is no longer required.

God I love The Reg.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: The title is no longer required.

The original headline was, as can be seen here...

Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

And as amusing as that was, it was going to set off a few too many corporate web and email filters. Hope people enjoyed it while they could.

C.

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Pint

Re: The title is no longer required.

:-)

Beers all 'round.

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Re: The title is no longer required.

In a hole…

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Coat

Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

True, the company name was a gift.

But "Emerdata" seems immune to such frivolity.

It's aserious company name, where serious people do serious business in an above-board and thoroughly transparent way. No dodgy databases here, nosir.

Is it just me that keeps typing it as "enemadata" ?

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Re: Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

perhaps after being plugged once and for all they will need a flushing through?

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Re: Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

Is it just me who keeps reading it as "Emmerdale"? It has all the earmarks of a soap opera that just refuses to die ...

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Windows

Re: Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

Is it just me that keeps typing it as "enemadata" ?

"Eh, merde data"

Icon: someone holding a vile brew to overcome the stench of Cambridge Anal merde data.

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"Is it just me who keeps reading it as "Emmerdale"? "

Well, they are farmers.

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Re: Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

It does sound like a wiki for Emmerdale, where people can get into real detail about Alan Turner's Range Rover, Seth's sideburns and when Eric Pollard used to peddle antiques from a Citroen ZX.

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Re: Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

In fact the new name is just as bad as the old (cf. The Reg's tweet): 'emmerder' means to annoy or to land someone in the shit

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cambridge Anal. plugged once and for all? Maybe not

It does sound like a wiki for Emmerdale, where people can get into real detail about Alan Turner's Range Rover, Seth's sideburns and when Eric Pollard used to peddle antiques from a Citroen ZX.

Alan Turing drove a Range Rover?

I'd be happy just looking at pictures of Jasmine all day - never could watch the show without subtitles.(Though not as bad as those shows with scottish accents that they have to re-dub for the U.S.A. market)

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Emerdata sounds like...

Emerdata, in Italian, sounds like e-merdata. Which translates to something like E-bullshit, E-shittiness, E-shit, E-something-that's-shitty.

In fact "merda" is shit, and "merdata" is more or less something that's definitely shitty.

Isn't it perfect?

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Re: "Is it just me who keeps reading it as "Emmerdale"? "

I'm just expecting (actually pretty certain) that "Emertata Farm" is going to be the repeated joke on El Reg for them.

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Of course they'll come back

That's the way that scum like this operate.

From their statement:

"Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations"

True. And numerous well-founded accusations, which they conveniently ignore.

"despite the Company’s efforts to correct the record"

I've seen a lot of these attempts -- and they were absolutely pitiful and insulting.

"has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas,"

(in addition to being vilified for their illegal and non-widely-accepted behaviors)

They're not wrong in claiming that many of the nefarious things they were up to were legal and common practice. However, they're wrong in thinking that is an effective defense -- these are activities that they should be vilified for. The sad thing, in my view, is that most of the other organizations that do similar things are not being vilified as well.

Hopefully that will change.

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Re: Of course they'll come back

If they are so evil, then how do you feel about Barrack Obama doing exactly the same Facebook mining in 2012 during his reelection campaign, and bragging about it too?

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Re: Obama

This is Whataboutism, which is bad. Just because X happened in the past doesn't mean X is OK in future.

Any campaign that lifted people's private profile info via a seemingly innocent app is v naughty, and now Facebook's been pressured into tearing up its APIs and reviewing 3rd-party software connecting to its platform. No doubt, it'll find some other way to monetize its vast amount of intelligence on people while keeping within the letter of the law and EULAs.

C.

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Re: Obama

My point is it was ignored when a Liberal did it, but let a conservative do it and suddenly we need to fix the problem. There's a hypocrisy problem here.

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Re: "it was ignored"

Hard to ignore something you're not aware of. This use of Facebook data for political stuff wasn't TTBOMK widely known in 2012. If you knew about it then, why didn't you tell us? Why not sound the alarm?

C.

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Re: Obama

Obama is not a Liberal, or even a liberal. He's just a less extreme conservative.

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Re: "it was ignored"

It wasn't widely known because the liberal press sat on it. Does that excuse it?

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Re: Obama

Barack Obama? I thought he was a Communist.

He definitely made my children turn gay.

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Re: "because the liberal press sat on it"

And the rightwing press? The New York Post? Fox? C'mon dude, Infowars is that way -------->

To be clear, if someone told me in 2012 that Facebook was looking the other way while millions of profiles were being slurped, I'd have run the thing and be waiting for the Drudge Report traffic to flow in.

C.

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FAIL

Re: Of course they'll come back

"how do you feel about Barrack Obama doing exactly the same Facebook mining in 2012 during his reelection campaign, and bragging about it too?"

Because the Obama campaign did not do *exactly* the same thing. A couple of excerpts from an article on politifact.com:

"The Obama campaign created a Facebook app for supporters to donate, learn of voting requirements, and find nearby houses to canvass. The app asked users’ permission to scan their photos, friends lists, and news feeds. Most users complied.

The people signing up knew the data they were handing over would be used to support a political campaign. Their friends, however, did not.

The people who downloaded the app used by Cambridge Analytica did not know their data would be used to aid any political campaigns. The app was billed as a personality quiz that would be used by Cambridge University researchers."

"Obama operatives used Facebook data to get users to send their messaging for them, according to Eitan Hersh, a Tufts professor who wrote Hacking the Electorate, a book on Obama’s microtargeting strategies.

Facebook friends lists, tags and photos allowed Obama operatives to identify a person’s close friends, which they then matched with offline public records. (Was this person likely to vote for Obama, but unlikely to get out to vote?) They then told the app users which of their friends they should send campaign messages to.

Cambridge Analytica dialed up what Karpf called the creepiness factor. They combined the survey results with the Facebook data to create psychological profiles they then sold to campaigns. The idea was, if the firm could discover how these people thought, they could target ads toward them.

Cambridge Analytica then sent targeted ads to the users on their database as well as users with similar profiles, identified by Facebook’s Lookalike tool. The friends of the app users weren’t being targeted by their friends, but by the campaign itself. In other words, the consenting middle man was gone.

In his research, Hersh found that neither tactic was greatly effective at persuading people to vote."

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/mar/22/meghan-mccain/comparing-facebook-data-use-obama-cambridge-analyt/

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Re: Of course they'll come back

The Obama campaign was actually upfront with what they were doing and why, so it's not quite exactly the same thing. But, if the Obama campaign grabbed data from people who didn't consent (i.e., friends of users who did), I find that equally objectionable.

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Re: Obama

If that's your point, you're making it to the wrong crowd. You should find people who actually do view this through a partisan lens. I'm not one of those people.

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Re: "it was ignored"

Jeebus, John. You're really starting to flail. Why do you insist on embarrassing yourself in this way?

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Re: Of course they'll come back

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/mar/22/meghan-mccain/comparing-facebook-data-use-obama-cambridge-analyt/

The Obama campaign dudn’t steal data / use it without user permission or in violation of Facebook Ts and Cs. Nice try though.....

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Re: "it was ignored"

The problem is that 'Big John' has only just dreamed it up! By the way what is his Moscow address?

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Re: Obama

My point is it was ignored when a Liberal did it, but let a conservative do it and suddenly we need to fix the problem. There's a hypocrisy problem here.

Forget it I sussepect this Rag has that insuffrable Metro Euro Onion loving Liberal bent to it, and anyone that even dares to mutter a word about, how President Trump was the type of leader the USoA so desperately needed after Reagan. And, the Commenttards will burn you severely for it.

Breath a word of defence about Brexit, and how the current goverment is doing everything in its power to subvert that outcom. for the benifit of the few London Banksters. At the behest of every other working slob. and oh boy the Downvotes will surly come.*

I can't wait to see this post go down in flames.

*Though to be fair, as this is a "Tech Site", I guess its a fair comp to those who so vehemently flame away, as one must supose that they know on which side of their bread they have their butter on. I mean its not like Bob, the Fisherman, will ever actually have a need for someone with Oracle Database expreance on their team. So is it any wonder that pretty much any, and EVERYONE who doesn't live in London, or in Scotland. Each with ther own reasons to drink the green milk of the bruxelles cow. Suddenly decided, that the EU was not only a waste of time, and money, but was also becoming more, and more dangerus?

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Re: Obama

he was a lazy do nothing president, who was more pressed about getting is tallions into Healtcare Insurance. A place where the Goverment, has had no right to get into. Great the NHS is working for you. But, thats not how its done over there, and for good reason too.

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Re: Obama

Michael Habel» he was a lazy do nothing president...

Let me get this right:

John F. Kennedy was a womanizer who stole the election from Nixon;

LBJ was a war-monger who landed the US into a war they couldn't win so that the following administration would look bad;

Nixon was set up by LBJ and villified by Hollywood;

Carter will go to Hell for giving away the Panama Canal.

Ronald Reagan was the best goddamn thing ever to happen to the World and anyone who says otherwise is a godless commie;

G. Bush Senior served his country well;

Clinton's time in office was a national disgrace. He should have sentenced to TREASON!!!!! as he rightly deserved.

G. Bush Junior was a war hero;

Obama was a lazy-do-nothing president;

Trump is the man to bring back Pride to this land of Justice and Supremacy, uproads built by you and me;

Am I right?

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"Obama is not a Liberal, or even a liberal. He's just a less extreme conservative."

In America, that is a "liberal."

On this scale Tony Blair was virtually on the same end of the scale as Joseph Stalin.

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WTF?

Forget it I sussepect this Rag has that insuffrable Metro Euro Onion loving Liberal bent to it,

The AMFM bot writers have a new competitor?

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Re: Obama

Perhaps you would get more of the downvotes you’re so desperate for if you re-wrote this post in English so the rest of us could understand it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obama

He wud* but he's too dangerus!

*deliberate spilling mistook for his benefit ;)

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Re: "it was ignored"

By the way what is his Moscow address?

Just write 'Lubyanka Square' on your postcard and the Pochta will know which building you mean.

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