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 …

  1. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Here comes the new boss.

    Same as the old boss.....

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

    1. DougS Silver badge

      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.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Here comes the new boss.

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

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      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.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        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

        1. nsld

          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..............

          1. jake Silver badge

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

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

      2. GIRZiM
        Facepalm

        @ 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?

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        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?

      4. Guasilas

        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.

  2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    The title is no longer required.

    God I love The Reg.

    1. diodesign (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.

      1. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: The title is no longer required.

        :-)

        Beers all 'round.

      2. sictransit

        Re: The title is no longer required.

        In a hole…

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        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" ?

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

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

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

        2. jake Silver badge

          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 ...

          1. Jedit
            Thumb Up

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

            Well, they are farmers.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

              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.

          2. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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)

        3. Stoneshop Silver badge
          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.

          1. ardj

            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

        4. Kurgan

          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?

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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?

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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.

          1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "it was ignored"

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

              1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                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.

                1. ckm5

                  Re: "because the liberal press sat on it"

                  Don't feed the troll, it only encourages them

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: "it was ignored"

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

              3. caradoc

                Re: "it was ignored"

                The Guardian didn't ignore it:

                https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/17/obama-digital-data-machine-facebook-election

                "Barack Obama's re-election team are building a vast digital data operation that for the first time combines a unified database on millions of Americans with the power of Facebook to target individual voters to a degree never achieved before.

                Every time an individual volunteers to help out – for instance by offering to host a fundraising party for the president – he or she will be asked to log onto the re-election website with their Facebook credentials. That in turn will engage Facebook Connect, the digital interface that shares a user's personal information with a third party.

                Advertisement

                Consciously or otherwise, the individual volunteer will be injecting all the information they store publicly on their Facebook page – home location, date of birth, interests and, crucially, network of friends – directly into the central Obama database.

                "If you log in with Facebook, now the campaign has connected you with all your relationships," a digital campaign organiser who has worked on behalf of Obama says."

                Note the "consciously or otherwise"....

            2. Richard Jones 1

              Re: "it was ignored"

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

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                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.

          2. Richard Tobin

            Re: Obama

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

            1. Youngone Silver badge

              Re: Obama

              Barack Obama? I thought he was a Communist.

              He definitely made my children turn gay.

              1. Mr Dogshit

                Re: Obama

                No, chemtrails turned your children gay.

            2. Michael Habel Silver badge

              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.

              1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

                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?

                1. cmaurand

                  Re: Obama

                  History Lesson: Nixon actually undermined US negotiations which would have ended the war in 1968 or 69, but instead managed to extend the war until 1973 wasting talent and treasure all to get elected. All in violation of laws that prohibit private parties from negotiating on behalf of the government. In fact they announced a peace plan just prior to the 1972 election which cemented his victory. And Hubert Humphrey was like Hillary. Not a good candidate.

                  A candidate needs charisma. Hillary and Hubert had none.

                2. TheRightLovesAltarBoys

                  Re: Obama

                  That's some serious mental gymnastics and confirmation bias right there. Apparently you're just willing to look the other way if Republican president did something wrong. You don't support everything someone does just because they have the same beliefs as you. You support the person and not the actions. If they do something wrong you call them out. Otherwise it would be like your best friend telling you they want to sell their belongings and get addicted to heroin and you tell them, I'll support you no matter what you want to do! Come on.

                  Trump is the man to bring back the Pride to the US? You have GOT to be kidding. He is a national embarrassment. He paid off someone he had an affair with. If Bill Clinton had paid off Monica would you have been supportive, then? He is constantly embarrassing the US on twitter and does his best to divide the country. No president Democrat or Republican has ever embarrassed this country like Trump.

                  You can't divide the country into two groups like liberal and conservative. Have you met all 300 million+? No? Then you have no idea where people sit on issues. If you don't want other's beliefs forced on you then why is it you expect other people to put up with the same? Stop worrying about what other people are doing.

                3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

                  Re: Obama

                  Yes, no, no, no, somewhat yes & no, yes, yes, no, no, no.

                  So I can balance across the spectrum (if you only see political alignment as a single line. I'm more in favor if something like the Nolan Chart).

              2. David Nash Silver badge

                Re: Obama

                "Healtcare Insurance. A place where the Goverment, has had no right to get into."

                Too true. Insurance should be left in the private sector, the government should just provide healthcare, not insurance.

                "Great the NHS is working for you. But, thats not how its done over there, and for good reason too."

                The reason being, what, those who can't afford decent healthcare don't deserve it?

                1. cmaurand

                  Re: Obama

                  Health insurance is the problem, not the solution

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Obama

                  The reason being, what, those who can't afford decent healthcare don't deserve it?

                  That's exactly it. In the country when men are Real Men, etc. it's against the Constitution As Written to suggest that the government should actually have some stake in the welfare of the people. It says in The Declaration "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," nothing about the Common Good or the welfare of the people.

                  The rednecks and even the middle classes are still laboring under the massive myth that all you need to do it work extra hard and you too can be $ucce$$full. Why do they like Trump? Because he's a caricature of what they think a "self-made" rich guy is [with all that absolutely dreadful gilding and gold plating everywhere!]

                  Of course it's it the 1%'s interest to perpetrate that mobility myth - they need the peasants to work and not think about it - same reason they destroyed trade unions.

                  Oh, there are exceptions, of course, but see https://xkcd.com/1827/

                  And in a Christian Nation such as the USofA, it's great and worthy and noble to give to the poor, but they don't deserve it, and are a bunch of whiny losers who refuse to work

              3. ShadowDragon8685

                Re: Obama

                That reason being Richard fucking Nixon was in bed with Kaiser Permanente.

                We NEED a universal healthcare system, and we don't have it, and people - like myself - are at risk of, or actually ARE, suffering any or all of the following as a result of medical care being out of their reach:

                Financial Ruination from which not even bankruptcy is salve

                Half-assed or worse healthcare

                Being summarily dumped on the streets in a hospital gown for want of ability to pay

                Death

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                  Re: Obama

                  We NEED a universal healthcare system, and we don't have it, and people - like myself - are at risk of, or actually ARE, suffering any or all of the following as a result of medical care being out of their reach:

                  Doesn't this argument tend to provoke scorn from other Americans that you're trying to sponge? This is serious if probably poorly expressed question.

                  The biggest argument for universal healthcare is that it is significantly cheaper and more effective than private. So much so that the champion of small government, economic liberalism The Economist is championing it.

                  1. cmaurand

                    Re: Obama

                    Private health insurance is a drag on the US economy. A universal healthcare system is where we're going to end up and Mr. Trump set that in motion by undermining the ACA, which sort of needed to be undone. Without the public option (Meidcare buy in) to create competition in markets where there is none, the ACA will never work.

            3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Coat

              "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.

              1. XSV1

                Tony Blair

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

                Would that be Tony "Trust me" Blair you are referring to?

                1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                  Coat

                  Would that be Tony "Trust me" Blair you are referring to?

                  No, that would be Tony "I believed every word at the time I said it" Blair, tovarishch..

              2. ArrZarr Silver badge
                Joke

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

                Damn...When they see Jeremy Corbyn, will they immediately invade the country to save us from ourselves?

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

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

                >Tony Blair was virtually on the same end of the scale as Joseph Stalin

                Well, Tory Blur didn't kill *quite* as many people..

              4. JohnFen Silver badge

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

                Yes, this. In the US, there are very nearly no actual liberals in government or the media. That has been the case since at least the '80s. The range goes from "left-leaning centrist" to "extreme conservative".

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

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

                  In the US, there are very nearly no actual liberals in government or the media.

                  In the US, nearly all serious participants in civic life are liberals, in the original, technical, political-science sense of "people who believe that civil rights are foundational in a system of government". Free-speech advocates are liberals. Gun-rights advocates are liberals. Small-government advocates are liberals. States-rights advocates are liberals. Religious-freedom advocates are liberals. Those various liberals often disagree with one another, frequently vehemently; but they're all liberals in technical sense.

                  I don't know what mysterious definition of "liberal" you're using, but it doesn't seem to be any better supported than other vague popular uses of the term. So your claim is basically "no one in the US belongs to a group I have not defined", which is rather pointless.

          3. JohnFen Silver badge

            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.

          4. Michael Habel Silver badge

            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?

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              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?

            3. ducatis'r us

              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.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Obama

                He wud* but he's too dangerus!

                *deliberate spilling mistook for his benefit ;)

            4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Obama

              Breath a word of defence about Brexit, and how the current goverment is doing everything in its power to subvert that outcom

              Yay for conspiracy theories! If the facts don't fit your argument then the facts must be wrong!

              While I suspect a majority of contributors and commentards are indeed against the UK leaving the EU, at least one author is for it and given the opportunity to make his case. As for the commentards, well most of the arguments for leaving have wilted in the heat of the facts so it must be sabotage!

              On the other side of the pond: it's hard for many to accept but the jobs lost to automation are never coming back as a result of a trade war. But at least a trade war gives people something to shout about.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Obama

                " it's hard for many to accept but the jobs lost to automation are never coming back as a result of a trade war. "

                Exactly - and even Bernie Sanders hasn't taken _that_ onboard in his comments about outsourcing jobs.

            5. phuzz Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: Obama

              "insuffrable Metro Euro Onion loving Liberal bent to it"

              Ok, I can guess that the 'Metro' bit (no need for the capital letter by the way, it's not a proper noun) is because you don't like people who live in cities, and the 'Euro' bit needs no explanation. The 'Liberal' part (again, no need for the capital here, unless you're talking about the LibDems) just marks you out as a yank who thinks that all political systems are the same as yours, again, fine, we're used to that.

              The bit I don't follow is the 'Onion' part, assuming you're not talking about the vegetable (which personally I do love, especially in a cheese sandwich), then I guess you're talking about the satirical website? (Again, your wildly inconsistent use of capital letters makes it hard to tell).

              So what have the Onion ever done to upset you? Or did you actually mean the vegetable?

              PS, when you're counting up the anti-brexit areas of the UK, you missed out Northern Ireland, and most major cities.

              PPS most browsers contain spell checkers these days

              1. TheRealRoland

                Re: Obama

                >So what have the Onion ever done to upset you? Or did you actually mean the vegetable?

                Both probably made him cry.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Obama

                  "So what have the Onion ever done to upset you?"

                  He was expecting a lee^Hak and got satire. That kind of thing tends to play merry hell with conservative expectations. Thank gawd/ess for a free press.

                  edit: strike doesn't work all that well with a lower case e ...

                  1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                    Re: Obama

                    edit: strike doesn't work all that well with a lower case e ...

                    Yeah, striking the whole word would have worked better. Even with letters that don't have a horizontal stroke, single-letter strikeout is kind of subtle.

                    For that matter, I've have used "leek^Wleak" for the ASCII version; I think it's a bit easier to see what you were doing. But that's a matter of opinion.

          5. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

            Re: Obama

            If you point that sort of thing out you'll rapidly get downvoted.

            Which kinda proves your point....

          6. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Obama

            a Liberal did it

            Americans seem to have an alternative definition of 'liberal'

            It just didn't get the right press attention at the time, and there wasn't the same simmering concern over privacy running in the background or the Russian interference concerns.

            But, perhaps American reporting has gotten so partisan that a 'liberal' news outlet might well have trimmed the story, just as a conservative outlet might have tried to minimised the story if it looked bad for one of their demagogues.

            Perhaps that partisan reporting is still something less likely to happen in the U.K....

            1. Dagg
              Facepalm

              Re: Obama

              Americans seem to have an alternative definition of 'liberal'

              Same in Oz, here liberal means conservative, they consider liberal to mean big business and the rich are liberally allowed to do anything. The more money you have the more liberal you can be.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obama

          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.

          .. otherwise, it may rename too (I can't see bankruptcy happen :) ). After all, it does work. If Google wants to do something positive it ought to surface data on companies prior to renaming during a search, but I can't see that happen. So, from a search perspective it's an effective solution.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Obama

            "If Google wants to do something positive it ought to surface data on companies prior to renaming during a search, but I can't see that happen."

            Maybe Goofle wouldn't, but Companies House (where UK registered companies official records are freely available to search, at the moment) comes pretty close, including listing a company's previous name(s), listing the directors names, and making it relatively easy to work out which directors have been or are directors of other UK registered companies, and (more recently) recording details of "persons with significant control" (who are not directors but...).

            There are other, commercially oriented, services which charge money for company check data, credit reports, etc which might have this stuff packaged ready to go.

            Sometimes (quite often) a company doesn't so much change names as get reincarnated with the same business model and same directors. Sometimes even with confusingly similar names (FibreCity<>CityFibre, for example). Sometimes a company going into receivership (e.g. robbing the people they owed money to) is part of the process.

            Still, so long as there's money to be made for the greedy 0.1%...

      2. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        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/

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        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.

      5. Nonny Mouse

        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.....

        1. caradoc

          Re: Of course they'll come back

          The Guardian says they did, link posted also in another reply; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/17/obama-digital-data-machine-facebook-election

          "In 2008 the Obama digital team was lauded around the world for its groundbreaking work on internet fundraising. Yet in fact, the separation of its data on voters into several distinct silos forced high-level staffers to spend hours manually downloading information from one database to another.

          The Obama team in 2008 did a good job in beginning to tear down those walls, releasing extraordinary fundraising energy in the process that raised about $500m online.

          This year the Chicago team hasn't knocked down the walls so much as dispensed with them altogether. They have built from the ground up a unified database that incorporates and connects everything the campaign knows about a voter within it.

          Jeff Chester of the digital advertising watchdog Center for Digital Democracy, which has been calling for regulators to review the growth of digital marketing in politics, said that "this is beyond J Edgar Hoover's dream. In its rush to exploit the power of digital data to win re-election, the Obama campaign appears to be ignoring the ethical and moral implications."

          The Obama database incorporates Vote Builder, a store of essential information such as age, postal address, occupation and voting history drawn from the voter files of 190 million active voters."

          Nice try though....

      6. Dr_N Silver badge

        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?"

        Ah. Whataboutery. AGAIN?

        Come on do you think that ploy still works?!

      7. Roland6 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Obama

        Well, given the lack of public outcry at the time, it did seem that most Americans were okay with it; which probably goes someway to explaining the disconnect we are seeing over GDPR.

        From this side of the pond, well that's just the ex-colonists living up to stereotypical expectations; now if they had only accepted the monarchy, being ruled from Westminster, played Rugby and Cricket and drunk tea, none of this would have happened. Obviously, because it has happened on this side of the pond, that just isn't Cricket and something must be done...

        FYI, that's a pint of Boston brewed Samuel Adams Boston Lager...

      8. cmaurand

        Re: Of course they'll come back

        President Obama's math and demographics people were internal to their operation. They didn't leak the information to a hired 3rd party. They just used Facebook's and Twitter's internal targeting tools. President Obama's team didn't generate a surreptitious app to mine the data.

        Facebook screwed up big time.

        Cambridge Analytica and it's parent company are dead. They announced they're closing the doors. They talked about changing the name (according to the statement), but decided that the damage to the organization was just too great. Read customers are leaving in droves.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Of course they'll come back

          Yes, but those customers will just look for someone else offering the same services. Whether it's provided by former CA employees or someone else entirely, business only exists when customers exist.

          Blame CA, FB, whatever, they're all complicit. The real criminals are the ones that hoped to benefit from the scam.

      9. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        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?

        Just as disgusted by it. Of course, as a third-party advocate who thinks BOTH of the major political parties are filled by scumbags and criminals, I see little to no difference between them.

  4. IceC0ld Bronze badge

    Of course they'll come back

    Cambridge Analytica rebrand will need to completely different and totally unknown ..........

    so, Oxford Analysys it is then ...........................

    completely different :o)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Of course they'll come back

      Or if they fail that, Durham Analadyne or St Andrews Analisys

      AC for academia flaming

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did they get fined by the ICO?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      That probably won't matter. They filled as bankrupt.. probably no cash (or very little) after paying off exec bonuses and troops in the field. But... they head folks will be back to continue the mirth and merriment under a new name.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can't fine a company that no longer exists.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "You can't fine a company that no longer exists."

        But the directors still exist.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Holmes

          But the directors still exist.

          Unfortunately, yes.

          As do the 0.001 percenters that pour money into these kind of things to that they can become the 0.0001 percenters.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          But the directors still exist.

          Yes, but the ICO has little redress over them. This has been demonstrated by numerous fines imposed by regulators for things like nuisance calls. The regulators have to file a civil suit against the company to try and get the cash and that goes up in a poof of very liberal UK bankruptcy law. Only in the case of criminal offence can you really go after the directors themselves. Otherwise the only option is to stop them being directors for a short period of time.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I see no problem here

    This is the Internet. All we have to do is make sure that it is widely and repeatedly known that the managers of Whatever It Is Now Inc. were previously the managers of Cambridge Anal. And post and re-post the Video Of The Damned.

    Never Forget.

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: Video Of The Damned.

      Wait For The Blackout? Curtain Call?

    2. ma1010 Silver badge

      Re: I see no problem here

      But people do forget. Years ago in the U.S., there was a big scandal with AIG Corporation which mainly sold insurance. They had recently bought another company, 21st Century Insurance.

      When the economic crash hit and Obama was handing out bailout money, they went to Washington and said "Oh, we need money real bad because if we don't get it, we'll fail, and everyone will be out of work, think of the children on the street," etc., etc. After they got, I think, $50 million, they went out and gave their executives bit bonuses and sent them to high-dollar executive retreats (the sort of places the BOFH manages to get sent for "training"). They got caught by reporters who outed them. Congress even voted to tax their bailout at 100%, they were so mad.

      AIG changed their name to 21st Century and continue in business today.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: I see no problem here

        AIG changed their name to 21st Century and continue in business today.

        "AIG" being American Insurance Group, traded on the NYSE as AIG? The ones selling insurance on aig.{com,co.uk}? That AIG?

        "21st Century" being 21st Century Insurance, who AIG bought in 2005, and sold to Farmers Insurance Group (Zurich Insurance, really) in 2009 to pay some of their debts down, that 21st Century?

        After they got, I think, $50 million,

        Try $180bn.

      2. XSV1

        Re: AIG changed their name to 21st Century and continue in business today.

        Actually, AIG is still very much in business and is still trading as AIG. See www.aig.com

        1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: AIG changed their name to 21st Century and continue in business today.

          Is this the AIG that sponsored the football T shirts of the Manchester United football club?

          (Prior to them being sponsored by an American badged/Korean built car manufacturer who had withdrawn from the UK just beforehand?)

      3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: I see no problem here

        AIG is very proud of the fact that it paid the Federal Government back. It's thriving now. It sponsors the All Blacks.

        I don't think any company is too big to fail. If it leaves thousands without a job, give them the bail-out money instead. I suspect every employee would ahve got at least £1m.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Alan Hope

      Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

      Folk with a social conscience and a philanthropic bent are still around, just that the big movers and shakers in our world are all scoring high on the psycopathy scale.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

      "It is as if as soon as they become senior managers or above, that they believe their own lies, and everyone else will too."

      It's not necessary for them to believe their own lies. They just need to get others to believe them. As that's been what they did for a living it's not surprising that they're continue to do it in their own interest.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

      What is it with the culture nowadays, where so many people lie and have absolutely no conscience in doing so ?

      Simple really, money and power. Add in a bit of "I got mine, so screw you." and so it goes. Look at the "activist investors" or even high government officials in every country.

    4. really_adf

      Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

      What is it with the culture nowadays, where so many people lie and have absolutely no conscience in doing so ?

      I'm not sure whether people have changed, but I think our awareness of their behaviour has greatly increased. And that includes the awareness of other people inclined to behave that way, creating a snowball effect.

    5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

      Shits always did lie. In the past, they often got away with it. These days that is increasingly difficult and we get to hear about it.

      In the short term, lying is a good strategy. Eventually people catch up, though. In a large society, it can take quite a while for that to happen, but modern communications are shortening that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

        Anthony B.Liar and his friends in the early 2000s whitehouse set a dangerous precedent by lying about weapons of mass destruction that did not exist.

        The dropping of the petrodollar, and control over oil fields, as well as the share prices of weapons manufacturers and private military contractors were all coincidental.

        AC, black helicopters and that.

    6. Eltonga
      Mushroom

      Re: Claim They Did Nothing Wrong...

      Or is lying so prevalent at every level, that me being a hermit, i have missed the signs and symptoms of such, in every day life ?

      They just follow Herr Goebbels advice: Lie, Lie, Lie... something will stick on.

  8. K Silver badge
    Flame

    Scum...

    I've worked in Tech and with "big-data" (yeah I hate that term too!) for a looooonngg time and I've never wanted to brand any company this.. until now! What they have done not only taints the IT industry, but they've also managed to scare the living sh*t out of me.

    I've seen companies use this strategy before, when I worked in Financial Services, this was common when a company's name became synonymous with bad practice and they come under threat of investigation or law suite.

    What really pisses me off about it though, is the shady accounting practices that go with it, such as the "old" company depreciates its assets (specifically software, data, domains and other IP) and sells it's to the new company for £5k, yet weeks before they would have valued it at £500m (made up figures, just to demonstrate!).. they often try it with physical assets as well (But that is substantially more difficult).

    The end result is, it's almost impossible to recover any fines or compensation for the damage they've caused!

    After the chaos they have caused, these people should be barred from company directorships!

    Now I've ranted, I can sleep in peace!

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Scum...

      "I've seen companies use this strategy before, when I worked in Financial Services, this was common when a company's name became synonymous with bad practice and they come under threat of investigation or law suite."

      When a company changes it's name, it's safe to assume they are doing it to get away from the horrible stench they created around their old name.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scum...

      You can add telecoms to the list of dubious companies. Many years ago it was common for them to do this shady stuff.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "You can add telecoms to the list of dubious companies. "

        Any sort of security business in fact that's changed it's name in the last 5 years has probably been up to no good*

        *Although I suspect the UK firm "Savills" is probably just a victim of having the wrong founders name.

      2. Fred Dibnah

        Re: Scum...

        Goverments too. Windscale —> Sellafield

        1. josephharris

          Re: Scum...

          You mean Calder Hall ---> Windscale; that Windscale?

    3. GIRZiM

      Re: these people should be barred from company directorships!

      They should be strung up from lampposts and left swinging in the wind more like.

      Or burned at the stake.

      Or stoned to death.

      Or crucified.

      Anything so long as it is a very public, very long and drawn out, very painful and utterly humiliating process.

      I'm not saying their families should be Keyser Söse'd as well - I'm just thinking about it.

      Right, time for me to have a bit of a lie down as well, I think ; )

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Phoenix? By the time Cambridge-Anal get to the P's

    It'll just be Palantir anyway, if it isn't already... "No it really was just one rogue employee. well more than one actually". We're all buying that, right?

    -

    Peter Thiel's Palantir Proves Yet Again That It's Sketchy As Hell - Digg

    http://digg.com/2018/palantir-cambridge-analytica

  10. Howard Hanek Bronze badge

    Clarification

    How do you spell that? EnemaData? For the fast flow of information they provide?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Clarification

      Nice one! And there's me thinking it was because they'd located to Emmerdale.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The King is Dead - Long live The King

    "Shutdown may be less a business catastrophe than a marketing exercise"

    ...

    RIP Cambridge Analytica.. Now lets toast the success of Emerdata!

    Doesn't it seem like:

    The planet has gone from dysfunctional to dystopian in just a decade?

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Seems to be working

    The Beeb haven't noticed yet.

  13. Stylee

    SCL - for better elections

    Ha ha, Cambridge Anal and SCL Elections; reminds me of a t-shirt I had for the Khartoum Hash House Harriers sponsored by SCL (Steel Construction Limited) proudly emblazoned with, "SCL - for better erections".

  14. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Happy

    Suggestion for a new name

    I have a suggestion for their new name: ENEMA - An Analytics Company

    1. Disgusted of Cheltenham

      Re: Suggestion for a new name

      Just Merde.

      1. WorsleyNick

        Re: Suggestion for a new name

        EnemaData - The Shite Company (long handled spoons provided)

        Which reminds me the Quack has given me a tube to fill with a crap sample. The handle provided is ridiculously short.

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Suggestion for a new name

          The handle provided is ridiculously short.

          You have 11 characters in your handle, that seems reasonable, unless you plan on stealing disgustedoftunbridgewells handle.....

        2. onefang Silver badge

          Re: Suggestion for a new name

          "Which reminds me the Quack has given me a tube to fill with a crap sample. The handle provided is ridiculously short."

          Which reminds me, the government wants me to give them shit. Now that I'm over fifty, they send me one of those sample collecting kits every five years. Undecided whether to address it to Parliament House Canberra, or to my local members home.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kudos El Reg

    Neither the BBC or RTE (where DPC for Facebook is based), bothered to mention Emerdata! Instead they made it seem like a Win for public opinion etc. Implying the media spotlight had forced this shitty firm to close. Hardly!

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Kudos El Reg

      The Australian ABC also missed the name change and only reported it as a close down.

  16. JassMan Silver badge

    With a bit of luck

    The Insolvency Service may (hopefully) find grounds for disqualification as directors. IANAL but as I understand it they only have to prove unfit conduct (amongst a wide variety of other possible misdemeanours) in order to get disqualification. Simply going insolvent through no fault off your own is excusable but deliberately going bankrupt in an attempt to avoid criminal investigation can be regarded as unfit conduct.

    Presumably the C4 production team will have a lot more corroborating evidence beyond that broadcast mentioned earlier.

  17. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Emerdata?

    Not The Aristocrats?

  18. JBowler

    A new name is definitely required

    How about "Oxford Analytica"; it can probably be purchased quite cheaply but it may be somewhat obvious as they seem to have copied the name in the first place.

    Alternatively, "Oxford Analytics", slightly more medical, but closer to the business model ("big data").

    How about "Harvard Anal", as so many other commenters on this web site seem to be obsessed with one of the university's alumni.

    My consultancy fee in this matter is $1fm, please round down; I charge reasonable prices (unless you ask me to write software).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...its parent organization SCL Elections"

    SCL Elections

    Steal Completely Loopy...?

    Sleazeball Corporate Losers...?

    Steal Corrupt Logjam...?

    1. J.Smith

      Re: "...its parent organization SCL Elections"

      "Sleazeball Corporate Losers...?"

      Oh if that were the case, they are not losers, they and their ilk are the winners.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only defence

    People need to stop giving away their personal information.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Only defence

      They should, but unfortunately it's easy enough to get them to divulge their most personal information in exchange for a 50 cent rebate with their next purchase of what's actually some piece of worthless tat anyway.

      Seen in an Usenet .signature:

      - People are not inherently stupid

      - Cite?[0]

      [0] more commonly expressed nowadays as [citation needed]

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Only defence

      People do need to do that -- but that's insufficient. An amazingly complete portrait of you can (and is) compiled by simply spying on your online activities and combining that data with other offline databases, even if you never overtly disclose personal information online.

  21. Torchy

    Use Facebook to spread the word..........

    Use Facebook to spread the word about this chameleon outfit.

    They must not have realised that there is a Director search out there.

  22. eldakka Silver badge
    Angel

    To ensure the association is not lost in the future...

    Reg, please refer to both Companies in all future articles.

    e.g. an article about Cambridge Anal.

    ... Cambridge Anal, (it's phoenix company Emerdata)...

    Or,

    ...Emerdata (once known as Cambridge Anal. before it re-birthed)...

    To ensure that they are always associated with each other in site and internet searches.

  23. Nimby
    Mushroom

    And I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    It is definitely too easy and exactly the technically legal but morally bankrupt move you would expect from Cam. Anal. This does raise an interesting question of legal / financial defense. If you do something so horrible that you are guaranteed to suffer numerous fines and class action lawsuits, are you truly protected from the cost by declaring bankruptcy and selling all of your assets to your own clone?

    I mean sure, for PR, it works to nuke yourself as a sacrificial scapegoat and try to hide that you are "starting over". (With all of the same assets.) Even through any losses in doing so, it probably is a much lower loss than what the future would hold for them as a company if they tried to fight it out. But does it protect you financially from liabilities? Legally?

    If beyond a reasonable doubt it continues to walk like a goose, honk like a goose, and $#!7 like a goose...

  24. bpfh Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    Analytica

    From Analysis.

    Itself from greek, "Lysis", digestion and putrification; and "Anal", from the rectum.

    Therefore meaning, "a rotten arsehole".

    I think it suits the company.

  25. The Sod Particle

    Can I take it then that future stories on El Reg about Cambridge anal.'s directors, senior management etc. will have their names prefixed with 'former Cambridge anal. Position, Name'?

  26. hnwombat
    Devil

    Re: Cambridge Anal whining...

    "...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,"

    Yep. Yet another proof that legal != ethical.

    The villification is entirely justified when the "victim" is, in fact, a villain.

  27. Nimby
    Devil

    Emerdata - Run with it...

    After chewing on "Emerdata" for a bit, I have to say that I do give them props for the name. It fits so many descriptions that it ought to have its own Reg poll. I nominate the first few choices of:

    * EMERging from the ashes of our own corpse

    * EMERgency corporate rebadge

    * EMigratE youR personal data

    * Em er a tough un, da ta think?

  28. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Trollface

    Emer Data Farm

    Seems appropriate as they are farming out data.

    Left Pondians may not get the soap reference,

  29. Cuddles Silver badge

    Ethical != legal

    "unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully"

    I'm willing to believe that everything they did was entirely legal. After all, the whole reason the GDPR is being introduced is precisely because privacy protections have historically not been great. But ethical? The fact that they continue to insist that everything they've done has been ethical standard practice tells you everything you need to know about both these people and the advertising industry as a whole. There's a good reason advertisers tend to get placed several rungs below even lawyers and politicians on lists of trustworthiness.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typo?

    Sure this was not a typo

    Er me data :¬)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hosting and related activities

    hacking is related to hosting, innit? So is installing malware in them nuclear plants in Iran. But hey, malware and hacking is only for the BAD GUYS' plants, fear not, good people!

  32. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    Next week:

    Right to Be Forgotten trial .............

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Next week:

      So do we need to put the whole batch of them on so many sites that dodgy lawyers misusing laws can't remove it from our awareness? A quick google showed a lot of meaningful content already Perhaps we can get it on servers in Russia, China, Iran and Syria?

  33. Paul 195

    I can't be the only person who saw the headlines about CA shutting up shop today and thought "They'll be back in a month under a different name". Turns out they haven't even waited a month.

  34. steviebuk Silver badge

    I still am waiting...

    ...and I know nothing will probably come of it, for someone to investigate the local rag sites like the Argus. Visit them and see how many ads you're hit with. Visit them on an Android (probably the same on Apple) and see how many ads you get hit with that redirect you to bogus AV sites or direct to the Play store to install whatever crap the advert was for.

    I bet they are collecting as much data on their sites as Facebook. And I suspect not nearly as secure. Worthing Herald is notorious for these bogus ads.

  35. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    The Mercers

    Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer are directors of Emerdata

    That's all that need be said. Where the Mercers are involved, there is nothing good in store for non-billionaires - and not all billionaires, at that.1 Anyone else who's part of Emerdata is a fool.

    1Just ask the Koch brothers. Not that I feel sorry for them, but they were severely outmaneuvered by the Mercers, and are steadily falling further behind in the struggle to control US culture.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: The Mercers

      "control US culture"

      You've never actually spent much time exploring the US, have you?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: The Mercers

        You've never actually spent much time exploring the US, have you?

        I'm afraid that one's a little too gnomic, Jake. You'll have to unpack it if you want a specific response.

        I didn't say they were succeeding, or indeed that there was anything like a coherent "US culture" to control. I just said that's what they - the Kochs and the Mercers, among others - have been trying to do. That's the game they're playing. They've more or less admitted as much.

        It doesn't really matter whether it's an achievable or meaningful goal. They'll do plenty of damage on the way.

        1. GIRZiM

          Re: The Mercers

          @ Michael Wojcik

          You've never actually spent much time exploring the US, have you?

          I'm afraid that one's a little too gnomic, Jake. You'll have to unpack it if you want a specific response.

          Slyly implying that every time anyone in the U.S. hears the word 'culture' they reach for their gun, perhaps? ; )

  36. JaitcH
    FAIL

    A Three Letter Word Search for . . .

    NIX will be all needed to locate this bunch of charlatans.

  37. Steve 114
    Thumb Up

    Liquidation

    Sometimes liquidation is the most economical way of avoiding irrational sueballs. And in US law, little is rational.

    1. boatsman

      Re: Liquidation

      that's the nice part:

      hang they will. this is not the bloody usa where everything goes except for sanity.

  38. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Happy

    Remember Enron? The accounting firm that audited Enron was a global company, Arthur Anderson.

    After what happened to Enron, the company changed their name because of the damage to the Arther Anderson.

    They're now called Accenture.

    1. boatsman

      uhm no, that was a little different

      accenture indeed used to be anderson consulting.

      they were trying to break with the accountancy branch since the early 90's since they had to pay up being the more succesful branche to the weaker accountant brother.

      in 2001 (the year of enron, or at least december...) they became finally independent.

      had to pay andersen, though, quite a bit of cash. (the 15% they had put into custody, pending break away negotiations )

      which was money down the drain, after all, we all found out soon after...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only El Reg

    A couple of days now, and El Reg is still the only news outlet I've seen that's reporting the full story. I'd like to chalk that up to the well-know fact that our supposedly "free" press has the attention span (and historical memory) of a 9 year-old, but even a primary schooler should be able to see the significance of this. Maybe, as someone intimated in an earlier comment, someone's learned the right lessons from the nearly bungled resurrection of Blackwater (Eric _is_ back on the US government dole again, after all -- amazing how so many million and billionaires wind up with government health care here while the homeless die on our streets).

    1. boatsman

      9 year olds have a lot better memory than adults.

      try having kids.... :-)

  40. Brian Allan 1

    I'm sure Emerdata Limited will continue its parent's fine reputation for data gathering and analysis!

  41. boatsman

    hang they will........

    too much damage done.

  42. beecee

    So?

    So what's new? If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be ......

  43. Count Ludwig

    Je t'emmerde ! = Screw you !

    I'm not a fluent francophone but even I laughed out loud as soon as I saw the name "Emmerdata".

    Mercer et al are sending us a clear message.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/emmerder

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