This morning, it seemed like Cambridge Analytica would be out of our lives after it announced liquidation and prompt shutdown as a result of the massive worldwide Facebook data scandal. The shutdown, however, is likely to be temporary as Cambridge Analytica is all set to be resurrected under a new name called Emerdata.
Emerdata isn’t actually a new company and was incorporated by the top executives of Cambridge Analytica in August last year, reports Business Insider. Two sources familiar with the prospective development informed The New York Times about it.
Emerdata’s board seats Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer, daughters of Robert Mercer the hedge-fund tycoon who was responsible in part for Donald Trump’s successful US presidential election campaign in 2016. The campaign was allegedly the primary beneficiary of the Cambridge Analytica data collection and subsequent micro-targeted ad campaigns.
Cambridge Analytica earned $1.5 million in 2015 and 2016 by contributing to the success of Robert Mercer’s Make America Number 1 campaign. Cambridge Analytica’s ex-CEO Alexander Nix was also listed as one of the directors but he has resigned. Julian Wheatland, the director of CA-parent SCL Group will also be a director at Emerdata. Wheatland is also listed as the founder of Emerdata along with Alexander Tayler, the Chief Data Officer at Cambridge Analytica.
Emerdata also lists Johnson Chun Shun Ko, the deputy Chairman of Frontier Services Group, as one of its directors. Frontier is a privately owned security agency and currently has Erik Prince, US businessman and renowned Trump supporter, as its chairman. He also founded Academi, a private military company formerly known as Blackwater US. Interestingly, Blackwater changed its name after its employees were convicted of killing 14 innocent Iraqi citizens in 2007.
Currently, the exact nature of Emerdata’s operations are unclear but its listing reveals that the company provides services related to “data processing, hosting, and related activities” which is about as vague as it gets. But with many of Cambridge Analytica’s core members being on board, it is not hard to guess the true nature of Emerdata’s operations.