Many media reports suggested the end of the dubious Cambridge Analytica, Wednesday, but the shady data mining firm that gained prominence, known for harvesting and mining information on people to aid political campaigns globally is not going anywhere, and in fact has been merged in a previously existing Emerdata.
Founded in mid-2017, Emerdata has been rather active since Cambridge Analytica hit the headlines earlier this year, including official filings as recent as yesterday.
“The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers,” Cambridge Analytica said in a release Tuesday, adding: “As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business.” News of the closure was first reported by Gizmodo.
Newsweek reported a separate filing that Emerdata later registered a change of address with Companies House on Feb. 13. It altered the official record from 16 Great Queen Street to PKF Littlejohn, 1 Westferry Circus, the same location as SCL Group.
Per the Companies House filing, the staff includes Rebekah Mercer, the conservative donor, and daughter of billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer who listed her correspondence address as the New York office space of Cambridge Analytica.
The ousted Cambridge Analytica's CEO, Alexander Nix was listed as a director of Emerdata in February, until the firm decided to severe ties with him in March.
SCL chairman Julian Wheatland, who was reportedly tapped to replace Nix as Cambridge Analytica’s CEO before it announced its closure, is listed as Emerdata’s CEO, Share Blue Media reported. That very day Cambridge Analytica’s former chief data officer Alexander Tayler replaced Nix as Emerdata’s new director.
Johnson Chun Shun Ko is another director listed for the shrouded Emerdata, who served as a deputy chairman of the board at Frontier Services Group — a Chinese security firm chaired by Erik Prince in 2014.
Prince who is the founder of the private military contractor, Blackwater, and is the brother-in-law of Education Secretry Betsy Devos, is a known Trump supporter with ties to the super PAC which paid for Cambridge Analytica’s work on behalf of the Trump campaign.
In 2016, Prince was also the second-largest donor to Make America Number 1 — a super PAC founded by the Mercer family (of the Donald Trump-supporting billionaire Robert Mercer, who funneled $10 million to Cambridge Analytica), ran by the former Trump campaign CEO and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon along with Kellyanne Conway.
"Cambridge Analytica as a brand is absolutely toxic," one former employee told Financial Times, Wednesday. "Although guaranteed, that company SCL will emerge in some other incarnation or guise."