Cambridge Analytica Wanted to Launch its Own Cryptocurrency
Cambridge Analytica is a big data, behavioral microtargeting, and political campaign support company. It uses data to change audience behavior. The company boasts that its “psychographic profiles” of voters and consumers allow for more persuasive and precisely targeted advertising. In the blockchain space, the firm has been helping companies use predictive modeling to target investors for token sales.
Work on the Company’s Blockchain Offering Has Been Put on Hold
The company is among those who have been looking to dive into the cryptocurrency space and raise money via an ICO. They have been exploring ways to enable people to manage and monetize their personal data with the help of blockchain technology. According to Britanny Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, the company wanted to raise money for a system to help people store and sell their online personal data to advertisers themselves. The company was “developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used,” said a Cambridge Analytica spokesman to Reuters in an email. However, work on the company’s own virtual coin went on hold with the Facebook data scandal revelation.
Scandals and Controversies Surrounding The Company
The company has been accused of improperly gaining access to personal the data of millions of people on Facebook. It is being reported that the data was used towards benefiting President Donald Trump’s election campaign. However, the company disagrees with this:
We used neither the GSR data nor any of its derivatives on the Trump campaign. We used data from the RNC, public sources such as the voter registry, commercial data brokers and polling we collected under a clear statement of consent https://t.co/hoaElZqeTx
— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) April 10, 2018
While Facebook estimates that the data of more than 87 million users may have been affected, Cambridge Analytica is holding its ground that it had properly licensed data on far fewer users from GSR, a research firm, and that GSR had the right to sell the data to Cambridge Analytica.
Yesterday Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Ct, showed the terms of service that GSR's Dr Aleksandr Kogan says he supplied to Facebook, which states that he could sell the user data. pic.twitter.com/dzlCsOYBup
— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) April 11, 2018
Moreover, the company’s British Chief Executive, Alexander Nix, who was also involved in the blockchain project, has also gone public, bragging about the company’s political work and the use of shell companies and strategies to trap opponents.
Last year, the company is said to have done some behind-the-scenes work for Dragon Coin, a digital currency designed to be used by gamblers. The virtual currency is associated with a Macau-based gangster, Broken Tooth.