Your guide to Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica su...

Posted: Mar 21, 2018 12:19 PM
Updated: Mar 21, 2018 12:19 PM

Cambridge Analytica suspended CEO Alexander Nix on Tuesday. It's the latest development in a complicated story involving the embattled data analytics firm, a self-described whistleblower and misused Facebook data.

Here's a guide to the company everyone's been talking about.

What is it?

Cambridge Analytica was hired by Donald Trump's campaign during the 2016 election.

The firm has been funded in part by Republican donor and hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his family, and has ties to former and current Trump advisers. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is the firm's former vice president, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway consulted for the company.

It is affiliated with the strategic communications firm SCL Group.

In its Twitter bio, Cambridge Analytica said it offers "behavioral microtargeting," as well as "political campaign support" and "digital support."

Why is Cambridge Analytica in the news?

The scandal erupted over the weekend when The New York Times and UK media reported that Cambridge Analytica tried to influence American voters using information gleaned from 50 million Facebook users.

Facebook says the data in question was initially gathered a few years ago properly by psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan.

At the time, Facebook allowed Kogan to harvest information from users who downloaded his app, which offered a personality test. Those Facebook users also gave Kogan permission to collect data from their friends.

Kogan passed that data on to SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica, which was working to develop techniques that could be used to influence voters.

Facebook said that the transfer of information from Kogan to Cambridge Analytica breached it's rules. Cambridge Analytica maintains that it deleted all the data in 2015 when it learned that Facebook rules had been broken.

The company defended itself in a tweet storm over the weekend.

"Advertising is not coercive; people are smarter than that," the company tweeted on Saturday. It added, "this isn't a spy movie."

It has continued to tweet about the scandal.

A former contractor, Christopher Wylie, disputes that Cambridge Analytica destroyed the user data. He is the self-described whistleblower who has shared his story with the press.

Related: What you need to know about Facebook's data debacle

What's the latest?

Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica and SCL, and asked Cambridge Analytica to agree to an audit in an attempt to show that the data in question was deleted.

Cambrige Analytica agreed, but the audit was called off by the UK's main data protection agency, a Facebook spokesman told CNN.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office has announced it is seeking a warrant to conduct its own on-site investigation. Facebook will continue with its own probe.

Related: Facebook's data crisis deepens as questions mount

Meanwhile, fallout for the company has continued.

Cambridge Analytica suspended Nix in the wake of undercover reports showing him discussing potential bribery and entrapment.

Nix's suspension is immediate, "pending a full, independent investigation," the firm said in a statement.

The statement was released moments before Channel 4 News in the UK was due to air another report in a series of exposes about the work of the company.

The report on Tuesday featured undercover footage of Nix claiming he met Trump "many times" and that the company was responsible for a wide swath of the Trump campaign's activity.

"We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting," Nix said. "We ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign, and our data informed all the strategy."

Alex Tayler, labeled as the chief data officer for Cambridge Analytica, is recorded separately as saying the firm's analysis was responsible for Trump's Electoral College performance.

Related: Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO Alexander Nix after undercover recordings air

"When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, but won the Electoral College, that's down to the data and the research," Tayler said. "That's how he won the election."

Nix denied in a statement that the company engages in entrapment or bribery.

Cambridge Analytica's statement on Tuesday said an independent investigation would take place with the company revealing its findings "in due course."

"Mr. Nix's recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation," the statement said.

- CNN's Maegan Vazquez, Paul Murphy, Aaron Kessler, Brian Stelter, Eli Watkins Carol Jordan and Mark Thompson contributed to this report.

West Lafayette
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 80°
Kokomo
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 78°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
74° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Monticello
74° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Logansport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Warm Day, Record Warm Night, Then Showers & Storms Friday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 152396

Reported Deaths: 4023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24905785
Lake13380352
St. Joseph8985161
Elkhart8530132
Allen7978222
Hamilton6000113
Vanderburgh567560
Tippecanoe358714
Monroe322238
Hendricks3221130
Johnson3051128
Porter303648
Clark289161
Delaware284574
Vigo256038
Madison232493
Cass222822
LaPorte220958
Warrick190065
Kosciusko179224
Floyd177367
Howard160066
Bartholomew139758
Dubois136726
Marshall134226
Henry123429
Grant122639
Wayne122127
Boone119548
Hancock115645
Noble114633
Jackson109413
Morgan93040
Dearborn92828
Daviess85333
Gibson84911
Clinton82916
Lawrence82634
Shelby80330
LaGrange77715
Harrison74824
Knox72110
Putnam71616
DeKalb69911
Posey6896
Fayette61417
Steuben6118
Miami5875
Montgomery57822
Jasper5744
White57215
Greene52137
Scott51013
Decatur49939
Adams4815
Whitley4426
Clay4396
Sullivan42913
Ripley4278
Wells4205
Wabash4029
Starke3977
Orange38825
Huntington3805
Spencer3746
Franklin36625
Washington3632
Jennings36013
Fulton3472
Randolph3439
Jefferson3305
Pike32915
Carroll31713
Perry29714
Jay2946
Fountain2883
Tipton27023
Vermillion2251
Newton22211
Parke2223
Rush2084
Owen2031
Blackford1983
Martin1960
Crawford1531
Pulaski1481
Brown1303
Ohio1247
Benton1080
Union1060
Switzerland900
Warren761
Unassigned0233

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events