What’s Going On?
Controversial political data company Cambridge Analytica has been secretly working on plans to create its own cryptocurrency, it has emerged.
Why Does It Matter?
Cambridge Analytica (CA) drew a storm of criticism when its acquisition of voters’ Facebook psychological profiles came to light, reported the New York Times.
It has now been revealed CA began working with initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the middle of 2017. The company planned its own ICO, intended to attract money that would bankroll a system to help store and sell online personal data to advertisers.
Aren’t ICOs Designed To Attract Investment In This Way?
Industry observers say CA’s moves were more about control than innovation. The new business push was guided by Brittany Kaiser, a former CA employee who had previously appeared at a press event with organisers of the Brexit campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union. Kaiser has been critical of CA since leaving the company in February.
Blockchain consultant Jill Carlson also attended meetings, including one attended by Cambridge Analytica’s then chief executive, Alexander Nix, Carlson told the New York Times.
“The way that Cambridge Analytica was talking about it, they were viewing it as a means of being able to basically inflict government control and private corporate control over individuals, which just takes the whole initial premise of this technology and turns it on its head in this very dystopian way,” Carlson said.