back to article What's in a name? For Cambridge Analytica, about a quid apparently

Administrators dealing with the group of firms affiliated with Cambridge Analytica were offered a pound for the now infamous brand – but didn't accept. Cambridge Analytica was one of five firms placed into administration amid the fallout from the Facebook data harvesting scandal. The firms – Cambridge Analytica, SCL Elections …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A moment of silence on the Reg to honor the death of Cambridge-Analytica...

    Meanwhile at the new HQ of Emerdata / Firecrest / Auspex:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCLizTg9nWo&t=0h3m29s

  2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Holmes

    Re: A moment of silence on the Reg to honor the death of Cambridge-Analytica...

    Surpriosethere was silence where you are - coyuldnt hear for the champaig corks bing remved round here. I'm sure forensic accountants (and probably the SFO) will have a field day with their relationships which undoubtedly will work to deptive legitimate investors of their dough while retaining the pocketbooks of the high and mighty.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'coyuldnt hear for the champaig corks bing remved round here'

    What are you celebrating exactly dude? Low tier staff were shit-canned. Meanwhile 'The Elite' @ CA, brushed the dust off, and phoenix'd into a bunch of smaller CA's... They will now go underground and be even less accountable esp in the 3d world:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44807093

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: A moment of silence on the Reg to honor the death of Cambridge-Analytica...

    @BebopWeBop: You certainly seem to have consumed rather a lot of “champaig” before writing that post, at any rate!

  5. macjules Silver badge

    Re: 'coyuldnt hear for the champaig corks bing remved round here'

    Low tier staff were shit-canned.

    Nope. Employed about 4 of them straight away .. no notice and could start next Monday. CamAnal paid most of them a flat £10k ex tax when they knew they were going down.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: 'coyuldnt hear for the champaig corks bing remved round here'

    "Auspex will work in the Middle East and Africa initially"

    Accountability in Middle East and Africa? First thing that comes to my mind: BAE bribes in UAE (if I remember correctly). UK investigation killed off because, lol, "not in the public interest", plain English: do as I say, don't do as I do. They might as well have said: look, bribes and public hangings are a part of their culture, ok? We must be sensitive, particularly if YOUR job is on the line...

    In short: we're all hypocrites.

  7. Mycho Silver badge

    Was that a pound for the assets, or just for the name?

    I'd be tempted to buy the name and donate it to a toilet manufacturer.

  8. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

    I wish you'd stop calling it "CA"

    "CA" to many of us means "Computer Associates"

    Also much hated, back in the day.

  9. J. Cook Bronze badge
    Pirate

    Re: I wish you'd stop calling it "CA"

    ... And "Certificate Authority".

    (And yes, Proceed forthwith with the Computer ASSociates Hatred. )

    *needs an Emperor Palpatine icon*

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I wish you'd stop calling it "CA"

    "CA: where once-good software goes to die"

  11. chuck_u_farley

    Data Controller?

    Surely someone has to be the Data Controller.

    If the administrator of a company in administration is not the controller of the data assets of that company, then who is?

  12. chuck_u_farley

    Data Controller?

    So let's get this straight. The administrator of a company that has been placed in administration thinks that it is not now the Data Controller of the data assets of the company. Surely in that case they are unable to dispose of those assets?

    If they are not the data controller, who is?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Data Controller?

    I think it’s worth The Reg asking the ICO for their opinion on that matter. It would make an interesting article!

  14. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Re: Data Controller?

    The article says the ICO has the computers and thus that data assets. Yet, is the ICO the administrator? Or someone else?

  15. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Re: Data Controller?

    In this instance the ICO is a 'third party' and neither Data Controller nor Data Processor. This is similar to 'recipient', which is the usual category for, for example, IT support for an application that stores Personal Data where the other organisation can access the data but doesn't do any "real" processing of the data. The difference is that 'third party' has a specific legal meaning.

  16. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Re: Data Controller?

    @Mark85

    You are confusing the Administrator who is in charge of getting as much cash for the rotting corporate corpse of Cambridge Analytica and the ICO who are concerned with breaches of data protection law.

    I suspect there is a gap in data protection law where a company is in liquidation or being wound up as the Administrator is merely an agent, and therefore may not be a data controller.

    Some guidance here

    https://blogs.lexisnexis.co.uk/randi/shining-a-light-on-the-gdpr-is-the-insolvency-profession-prepared/

    Basically my reading of that is that the CA administrator could be on very dodgy ground bouncing back those Subject Access requests, depending on the terms of their insolvency contract.

  17. EveryTime Silver badge

    Responsibility Laundering?

    Is there such as a thing as Responsibility Laundering?

    The money is gone, only the fault remains.

  18. Shaha Alam

    Re: Responsibility Laundering?

    "Is there such as a thing as Responsibility Laundering?"

    yes, but it's more commonly known as business as usual.

  19. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    This offers for the name. Maybe someone was confused and that was their quote to take it away and dispose of it.

  20. J. Cook Bronze badge
    Go

    1 pound for the name?

    I wouldn't even buy that for a Zimbabwe dollar. (or a million, for that matter...)

  21. martinusher Silver badge

    It was a disposable name, anyway

    I thought that the whole idea of these companies is that they were like a shell to a mollusk -- once the shell was compromised the creature inside just slunk off and grew a new one. The trick is to find suitable names for the shells, names that don't convey any information and so are easily forgettable.

    Now, the real question is what's inside that shell -- mollusk or Dalek?

  22. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Yet...

    And yet the scumbag directors and owners just walk away scott free yes?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Yet...

    Because the government let them go, apparently ignorant of concepts like "piercing the corporate veil" and individual responsibility.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cambridge Analytica, SCL Elections, SCL Group, SCL Commercial, SCL Social and SCL Analytics

    with absolutely no relation to each other, and created absolutely not to maximise opportunities offered by "fiscal obligations optimisation process" as keenly presented by the always impeccable (I'm only following orders) legal eagles.

  25. Jim Whitaker

    Data Controller

    The position is explained well here:

    https://www.burges-salmon.com/news-and-insight/legal-updates/high-court-confirms-the-position-of-liquidators-under-the-data-protection-act-1998/

  26. Lotaresco Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Re: Data Controller

    The position is explained well here:

    A link helps when posting URLs.

    High Court confirms the position of liquidators under the Data Protection Act 1998.

  27. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Re: Data Controller

    A link helps when posting URLs.

    Not all users can post URLs.

  28. Uberior

    Re: Data Controller

    Interesting...

    But that was 2013, pre GDPR so it probably needs retested.

  29. The Mole

    Re: Data Controller

    More interestingly the reporting of judgement implies that they are responsible for responding to data access requests:

    "First, that the company should retain sufficient data to enable it to respond to any data subject access requests which had been made before the disposal of the data and, second, that the liquidators should retain sufficient data to enable them to deal with any claims that may be made in the liquidation."

    So the liquidating company don't become the data controllers, they are merely the agents of the company they are liquidating. However as the agents they've got to comply with the rules and that includes ensuring the data controller within the company responds to subject access requests - and presumably appointing a new agent to act as the data controller if they have gone and made the original one redundant.

  30. royprime

    £1 for the name - bargain.

    Let's face it get that & the website up and running pointing to your company advising on all things GDPR / Cyber Essentials I imagine that would get a few good hits.

  31. Shaolin Twelve

    Interesting bunch of directors

    Looking into the directors and their histories/other acquaintances makes for interesting reading .... anyone remember Nick Prince and Blackwater? No wonder the names are throw-away.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Interesting bunch of directors

    I think another commentard on the Register pointed out the SCL royal connection a few months back.

    Not even the Grauniad has pointed that one out.

    Anon obvs.

  33. Shaolin Twelve

    Worthless Names and PMC's

    When this story first broke, a little bit of research, starting at Companies House in the UK, revealed that many of the directors of these businesses have strong ties to Private Military Contractors, like Nick Prince of Blackwater fame, who are still busy providing services, to places like Africa, through yet other innocuously named (and throw-away), and illusorily altruistic organisations.

    It is interesting that the focus was on Cambridge Analytica's connections and misdeeds with Facebook, yet the connections of many of their directors (who are linked to PMC's and other shadowy organisations) goes by with hardly a feather ruffled.

    I'd buy the Cambridge Analytica's name for a £1, just to ensure that the name always remains linked to these people and their continuing projects to undermine nations around the world, under the false pretexts of providing help.

    It is no surprise to me that businesses like Facebook and others had/have such relationships with dodgy businesses, but it does annoy me that businesses like C.A. (and derivatives) get away with nation-meddling, yet it is Russia who gets all the blame for such antics....it is really hypocritical, and highly damaging to Democracy.

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