So we’ve got good news, and we’ve got just awful news. Here’s the good news. Cambridge Analytica is closing its doors. The ton of perfectly awful publicity it has gotten proved just too much for the lads and lasses of Big Data. (Don’t cry for me, Argentina.)
Or at least that’s what the BBC, among many others, is reporting (see Cambridge Analytica: Closure “will not stop investigation”). But, also according to the BBC that won’t slow down the investigation into them. Both the UK authorities and our own have every intention of digging into CA’s complicated past.
So that’s the good news. Here comes the bad news. CA isn’t really out of the picture. It seems the company’s staff and investors are quietly reassembling their operation under a new name, Emerdata. According to Boing Boing, Emerdata’s “ board includes the daughters of Robert Mercer, who bankrolled Cambridge Analytica; disgraced former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix is on its board of directors, and much of Cambridge Analytica’s C-suite has packed up their desks and moved into the Emerdata offices.”
In other words, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Oh, and there’s more. According to Business Insider, another Emerdata director is Johnson Chun Shun Ko, who is the deputy chairman of Frontier Services Group. Frontier, in turn, “ is a private security firm which mostly operates in Africa and is currently chaired by US businessman and prominent Trump supporter Erik Prince. Prince is best known for founding private military group Blackwater US and is the brother of US education secretary Betsy DeVos.”
Just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? Now let’s just see if Ivanka and Jared drop by to complete the party…