Showing posts with label data retention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label data retention. Show all posts

Monday, 23 April 2018

Away from the spotlight of congressional hearings Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc. show their true colours – implementing weaker privacy protection for 1.5 billion users


The Guardian, 19 April 2018:

Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.

In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.

The move is due to come into effect shortly before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe on 25 May. Facebook is liable under GDPR for fines of up to 4% of its global turnover – around $1.6bn – if it breaks the new data protection rules.

The shift highlights the cautious phrasing Facebook has applied to its promises around GDPR. Earlier this month, when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users. His answer was affirmative – but only referred to GDPR “controls”, rather than “protections”. Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.

Facebook told Reuters “we apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”. It said the change was only carried out “because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.

In a statement to the Guardian, it added: “We have been clear that we are offering everyone who uses Facebook the same privacy protections, controls and settings, no matter where they live. These updates do not change that.”

Privacy researcher Lukasz Olejnik disagreed, noting that the change carried large ramifications for the affected users. “Moving around one and a half billion users into other jurisdictions is not a simple copy-and-paste exercise,” he said.

“This is a major and unprecedented change in the data privacy landscape. The change will amount to the reduction of privacy guarantees and the rights of users, with a number of ramifications, notably for consent requirements. Users will clearly lose some existing rights, as US standards are lower than those in Europe.

“Data protection authorities from the countries of the affected users, such as New Zealand and Australia, may want to reassess this situation and analyse the situation. 

Even if their data privacy regulators are less rapid than those in Europe, this event is giving them a chance to act. Although it is unclear how active they will choose to be, the global privacy regulation landscape is changing, with countries in the world refining their approach. Europe is clearly on the forefront of this competition, but we should expect other countries to eventually catch up.” [my yellow highlighting]

NOTE:

The Australian Dept. of Human Services still continues to invite those who use its welfare services to visit its five Facebook pages on which it will:


* post about payments and services 

* answer questions 
* give useful tips 
* share news, and 
* give updates on relevant issue

All associated data (including questions and answers) will of course be captured by Facebook, then collated, transferred, stored overseas, monetised and possibly 'weaponised' during the next election campaign cycle which occurs in the area visitors to these pages live.


Monday, 16 April 2018

In Febuary-March 2018 there were 63 Notifiable Data Breaches in Australia involving the personal information of up to 341,849 individuals


In the 2016–17 financial year, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reported that it received 114 data breach notifications on a voluntary basis.

On 22 February the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme came into force.

Between 22 February and 31 March 2018 there were 63 mandatory notifiable data breaches reported involving the personal information of up to est. 341,849 individuals, with 55 of these breaches reported in March alone.

Of these breaches:
24 were the result of criminal or malicious attack;
32 were the result of human error;
2 were system fault; and
1 was classified as “Other”.

The type of personal information involved in the data breaches:
Three of these data breaches involved the personal information of between 10,000 and 999,999 people in each instance.

At least 15 of the 63 data breached involved personal information held by “health service providers”. Health service providers are considered to be any organisation that provides a health service and holds health information.

Every individual whose personal information was breached was supposed to be notified by the entity holding their information, however the OAIC Quarterly Statistics Report: January 2018 - March 2018 did not specifically state that this had occurred. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Quotes of the Week



“We have the right to store a copy of your  [personal e-health] record and we are the only ones in the market to have this level 4 certification.”  [Romain Bonjean, co-founder Tyde, app developer registered portal operator with Australian Government Digital Health Agency & My Health Record, quoted in the Australian Financial Review on 6 April 2018]

“Life is short and shorter for smokers. Just legalise vaping.”  [Andrew Laming MP, Dissenting Report, submitted to Australian HoR Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, March 2018]

“When we kick their ass they all like to claim we’re drunk. I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass. Busy working; preparing.”  [St. Louis radio host Jamie Allman threatening anti-gun activist & highschool student David Hogg, as reported by Snopes, 9 April 2018]


“They promised us a grilling. We got PR.”  [UK journalist Carole Cadwalladr tweeting about US Senate hearing at which Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on 10 March 2018]

“I start to wonder if, in fact, how the developers mine money for Facebook has become a bit of a mystery to Zuck.”  [IT journalist Richard Chirgwin opining on Facebook founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter, 12 April 2018]

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Almost right from its very beginning Facebook Inc was not the benign Internet presence it pretended to be


Facebook Inc. - incorporated in July 2004 and headquartered at 1 Hacker Way (so named by Facebook management), Menlo Park, California 94025 - has at least twelve data centres around the world which collect, transmit, collate, store and monetise data drawn from an est. 2 billion active Facebook accounts. 

In May 2017 this social media company was worth est. US$407.3 billion according to Forbes.com.

Now that the social media giant finds itself being officially investigated to varying degrees by the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States on matters of user data collection, data retention, privacy and safety - as well as being the object of a number of lawsuits - here is a timeline indicating how Mark Zuckerberg brought Facebook to this low point......


FACEBOOK INC
2005

Facebook Privacy Policy states that Thefacebook takes appropriate precautions to protect our users' information. Your account information is located on a secured server behind a firewall. However it also states When you visit the Web Site you may provide us with two types of information: personal information you knowingly choose to disclose that is collected by us and Web Site use information collected by us on an aggregate basis as you and others browse our Web Site.
When you register on the Web Site, you provide us with certain personal information, such as your name, your email address, your telephone number, your address, your gender, schools attended and any other personal or preference information that you provide to us.
When you enter our Web Site, we collect the user's browser type and IP address. This information is gathered for all users to the Web Site. In addition, we store certain information from your browser using "cookies." A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user's computer tied to information about the user. We use session ID cookies to confirm that users are logged in. These cookies terminate once the users close the browser. We do not use cookies to collect private information from any user.
Thefacebook also collects information about you from other sources, such as newspapers and instant messaging services. This information is gathered regardless of your use of the Web Site. 

2006

Facebook’s privacy policy is now expressing this sentiment; We understand you may not want everyone in the world to have the information you share on Facebook; that is why we give you control of your information. Our default privacy settings limit the information displayed in your profile to your school, your specified local area, and other reasonable community limitations that we tell you about….

However the company is still collecting as much information about Facebook users that it can, as well as informing account holders that; Facebook may also collect information about you from other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, instant messaging services, and other users of the Facebook service through the operation of the service (e.g., photo tags) in order to provide you with more useful information and a more personalized experience. By using Facebook, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States.

2007

Facebook Platform  - app developers can now access the “’social graph’ ie., tracked connections between users and their friends.

Beacon - shares what users are doing on other websites with their Facebook friends without specific consent.

2008

Facebook Connect - corrects Beacon’s mistakes by requiring users to take deliberate action before they share activity from other websites when logged in using Facebook.

2009


Beacon officially shut down after at least one lawsuit commenced over privacy issue.

Facebook hosts the Farmville game which was later revealed as a data miner.

2010

Facebook’s privacy policy states; When you connect with an application or website it will have access to General Information about you. The term General Information includes your and your friends’ names, profile pictures, gender, user IDs, connections, and any content shared using the Everyone privacy setting. ... The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to “everyone.” ... Because it takes two to connect, your privacy settings only control who can see the connection on your profile page. If you are uncomfortable with the connection being publicly available, you should consider removing (or not making) the connection.

On 28 April 2010 Electronic Frontiers Foundation reported that: Facebook announced a plan to transform most of the bits in your profile (including your hometown, education, work, activities, interests, and more) into connections, which are public information. If you refuse to make these items into a Connection, Facebook will remove all unlinked information.

2011

Social reporting tool – allows Facebook users to directly contact other users to request a post or image takedown if either relates directly to them. Any takedown is voluntary if content doesn't breach Facebook rules.

Facebook Inc initially refuses to take down a defamatory site invading the privacy of Clarence Valley highschool students. It only does so after direct pressure is applied by a community member.

2012

In February the Parliament of Australia invites the Australian public to connect with it via Facebook.

Facebook begins roll out Facebook Camera for iOS to English-speaking countries - a standalone photos app where users can shoot, filter, and share single or sets of photos and scroll through a feed of photos uploaded to Facebook by friends.


2013

Facebook begins collaboration with Dr. Alexandr Kogan eventually supplying him with data on 57 million Facebook friendships by 2015. User data supplied to Kogan for his research was later sent to Cambridge Analytica without Facebook users knowledge or consent.

Facebook hosts Hangouts - live video.

2014

Facebook Groups - app for iOS and Android introduced and then deleted some months later.

Facebook buys WhatsAppMessaging.

Facebook conducts a number of psychological experiments on users without their knowledge or consent. It is reported that 689,000 users had their home pages manipulated.


2015

Security Checkup - new tool to simplifying privacy controls.

Head of Research at Facebook Inc, Peter Fleming, and one of the company’s  contract researchers are listed as co-authors of Alexander Kogan’s published research on the relationship of social class and international friendships. 


2016


2017

Privacy Basics - new tool to simplify privacy controls.

Becomes public knowledge that Facebook revealed to one Australian advertiser that it had a database of young users – 1.9 million high schoolers, 1.5 million tertiary students and 3 million young workers – and that it could tell advertisers when young workers were particularly vulnerable.

Facebook reported to be planning $750 million data center in New Albany, Ohio employing only 50 permanent staff.

Facebook admits to US Securities and Exchange Commission that 1.5% of its 2.01 billion accounts worldwide are “undesirable” - that is likely to be fake accounts. Yahoo Finance calculates that to be upwards of 30 million accounts.

In December Germany’s Federal Cartel Office released preliminary investigation findings and stated: The Bundeskartellamt has informed the company Facebook in writing of its preliminary legal assessment in the abuse of dominance proceeding which the authority is conducting against Facebook. Based on the current stage of the proceedings, the authority assumes that Facebook is dominant on the German market for social networks. The authority holds the view that Facebook is abusing this dominant position by making the use of its social network conditional on its being allowed to limitlessly amass every kind of data generated by using third-party websites and merge it with the user's Facebook account. These third-party sites include firstly services owned by Facebook such as WhatsApp or Instagram, and secondly websites and apps of other operators with embedded Facebook APIs.

Google search engines now host multiple Facebook apps.

By 2017 numerous government departments and agencies in Australia have Facebook accounts, from which the company can harvest visitor data whether or not the visitor has a Facebook account.

Included on the long list of government departments/agencies is the federal Dept. of Human Services (DHS)DHS states that it posts on its Facebook page about payments and services, answers questions, gives useful tips, shares news, and give updates on relevant issues. This means that anyone who visits or interacts with the five DHS Facebook pages will have their Internet usage data scraped, information contained in any questions asked retained and collated with any other information Facebook holds on that visitor. DHS appears to be aware of privacy vulnerabilities in its use of Facebook as it is at pains to point out that The department is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of Facebook.......

Australian federal and state electoral commissions also have active Facebook pages.

In December 2017 Facebook rolled out Messenger Kids app which is installed via an adult's Facebook account. This app offers video and text chats for children using their own digital devices. Although Messenger Kids displays no ads it does not appear to be exempt from Facebook's user data collection.

Facebook Inc initially refuses to remove a scam account attempting to raise money and only does so after media pressure

2018

On 16 March Facebook Inc. announces it has suspended the accounts of Aleksandr Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Strategic Communication Laboratries Group on the basis they had misused Facebook user data,  

In late March it was revealed that Facebook's Android app is capable of hoovering up extensive call data without users knowledge or consent.

Facebook-created VR app like Spaces obtain information about what users doing there, much in the same way that any third-party app developer would. Facebook also records a “heatmap” of viewer data for 360-degree videos, for instance, flagging which parts of a video people find most interesting.

Facebook admits that it archived unpublished and deleted user videos created using a now redundant video streaming function. 

Facebook Inc. admits that up to 87 million account holders may have had their personal information accessed by the Trump presidential campaign-linked data miner Cambridge Analytica. Either because  Facebook users accessed the thisisyourdigitallife app or because they had friended a person had done so.

Only 53 Australian Facebook users took the thisisyourdigitallife personality quiz but the app hoovered up the data on est 311,127 other users included in friendship lists once it accessed those 53 accounts. Just 10 New Zealanders used the app but data from another est. 67,000 users was collected via their friendship groups.

Facebook also admits that its software allowed reverse searching of its user pages employing only ‘phone numbers and email addresses and that “malicious actors” may have used this feature to scrap public profile data from most of its 2 billion users.

The company admits that its account recovery process can also allow these malicious actors to access user data.


In April Facebook announces a tightening of its privacy controls and states it intends to police all third party requests for access to user data. Given the company stated it had in total 215,000 staff worldwide as of December 2017 and, not all those staff would be available to personally monitor third party requests relating to Facebook’s est. 2 billion active monthly users, one wonders just how reliable this latest ‘promise’ from Facebook Inc. will be.

On 4 April 2018 USA Today reported that: Members of the House and Senate committees that will question Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about user privacy protection next week are also some of the biggest recipients of campaign contributions from company employees and the Facebook Inc. PAC.
The committee that got the most Facebook contributions is the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which announced Wednesday morning it would question Zuckerberg on April 11.

Open Secrets lists Facebook Inc PAC contributions to 2016 U.S. federal election campaigns:
Contributions from this PAC to federal candidates (list recipients)
(44% to Democrats, 55% to Republicans)
$519,500
Contributions to this PAC from individual donors of $200 or more (list donors)
 $619,240

In April Facebook admits that it has entered an unspecified number of the 1.3 billion 
Messenger accounts and, without users knowledge or consent, selectively removed messages sent to those users by Mark Zuckerberg and other unnamed Facebook Inc executives/employees

Australian Privacy Commissioner launches investigation into Facebook Inc.

Five U.S. state attorneys-general reported to have begun investigations into how Facebook Inc. collects, shares and does or doesn't protect user information.

According to the Insurance Journal on 5 April 2018: Users and investors have filed at least 18 lawsuits since last month’s revelations about Cambridge Analytica. Beyond privacy violations, they are accusing Facebook of user agreement breaches, negligence, consumer fraud, unfair competition, securities fraud and racketeering.

On 6 April Facebook Inc annouces that it has suspended the account of Canadian tech company AggregateIQ because of its involvenment in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and three days later suspends CubeYou on similar grounds while it investigates.

On 9 April TNW reports that Facebook's cryptocurrency ad filter failed.

The Washington Post  reported on 9 April:
As for Facebook itself, former FBI special agent Clinton Watts told me that, in one sense, the numbers should not be surprising since “everyone has a message to get out, and Facebook is the best place to do it. Russia, Cambridge Analytica or any campaign for that matter has to go to social media to be effective.” The problem arose in Facebook’s mode of operating. “Their motto was move fast and break things, and they did, they moved fast and in the end broke the trust of their users with the platform,” Watts said. “They didn’t do solid assessments of who was accessing data on their platforms, and they didn’t effectively scrutinize advertisements and accounts surfacing on their platforms.”

By 10 April it was being reported that a number of Facebook IT engineers were quitting or asking to change departments over ethical concerns.

On 11 April 2018 Facebook Inc. founder, CEO and controlling shareholder, 33 year-old Mark Elliot Zuckerberg appears before the US House of Representatives House Energy and Commerce Committee's Facebook: Transparency and Use of Consumer Data hearing.

The day before Zuckerberg fronted the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s  Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data hearing.

Despite all of the above, as of 11 April 2018 the Australian Government Dept of Human Services retains its "Humans Services", "Student Update", "Families Update" and "Seniors Update" Facebook pages and, the departmental website still links to "How to 'Like' " instructions and shows visitors how to set up their own Facebook account with a link to its very own 'how to' YouTube video. Cenrelink's General Manager also still has an official Facebook account.

Note:
Given the federal Department of Human Services admitted that it had employed third parties to monitor social media including Facebook for information about welfare recipients that it could match with internal departmental data, one has to wonder what range of methods were used to undertake this surveillance and exactly who the contractors were.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Are those nasty digital chickens coming home to roost for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook?


In 2014 rumours began to spread about the about Strategic Communication Laboratries (SLC) Cambridge Analytica.

By 12 December 2015, after contacting Facebook's public relations representatives in London, The Guardian (UK) was reporting that:

"A little-known data company, now embedded within Cruz’s campaign and indirectly financed by his primary billionaire benefactor, paid researchers at Cambridge University to gather detailed psychological profiles about the US electorate using a massive pool of mainly unwitting US Facebook users built with an online survey.
As part of an aggressive new voter-targeting operation, Cambridge Analytica – financially supported by reclusive hedge fund magnate and leading Republican donor Robert Mercer – is now using so-called “psychographic profiles” of US citizens in order to help win Cruz votes, despite earlier concerns and red flags from potential survey-takers.

Documents seen by the Guardian have uncovered longstanding ethical and privacy issues about the way academics hoovered up personal data by accessing a vast set of US Facebook profiles, in order to build sophisticated models of users’ personalities.

By 6 January 2016 The Guardian was reporting on what was likely to turn up in Facebook feeds by way of political advertising:

If you lived in north-east Iowa, the evangelical stronghold where the battle for the soul of conservative American politics will play out in person on Monday, and happened to have given Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign your email address sometime in the last few months, you might find something especially appealing this weekend in your Facebook feed.

Even the most obtuse member of Facebook Inc.'s board or senior management would have been aware that the company was fast becoming an active participant in the US presidential primaries campaign. 

Fast forward to now as the chickens come home to roost.......
Google Search, 3 April 2018

The Guardian, 26 March 2018:

In rejecting the media’s characterisation of this large-scale privacy violation as a “data breach”, Facebook claims “everyone involved” in the 2014 data-siphoning exercise had given their consent. “People knowingly provided their information,” the company claimed. As with its interpretation of the word “clear”, Facebook seems to have a skewed understanding of what “knowingly” really means.

Facebook’s senior executives may now be feeling apologetic, “outraged” even. But in January 2016, as Trump surged in the polls, Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, told investors the 2016 election was “a big deal in terms of ad spend”. In other words, a major commercial opportunity. The ability to target voters, she said, was key: “Using Facebook and Instagram ads you can target by congressional district, you can target by interest, you can target by demographics or any combination of those,” she boasted. “And we’re seeing politicians at all levels really take advantage of that targeting.”

It’s perhaps worth remembering, then, that until recently Facebook was encouraging political operatives to take full advantage of its garden of surveillance. And while aspects of the Cambridge Analytica affair may be surprising, and offer a disturbing glimpse into the shadows, the routine exploitation of information about our lives – about who we are – is what’s powering Facebook. It’s the behemoth’s lifeblood.

This was a statement from the U.K. Parliament House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on 28 March 2018:

Christopher Wylie gave evidence to the Committee on Tuesday 27th March 2018 during which he referred to the evidence the Committee is publishing today. This session is available to watch. Please note the transcript will be published online shortly.

On Tuesday 20th March, the Committee Chair Damian Collins MP wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, requesting oral evidence. Facebook have responded offering two senior executives. The Committee has accepted evidence from Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer, but has written today to Facebook to clarify whether  Mr. Zuckerberg will also appear himself, as requested. This matter was also raised with The UK Prime Minister Theresa May, in her evidence before the Liaison Committee on the evening of the 27th March. She said that Facebook should be taking the matter seriously.

On Thursday 22nd, the Committee wrote to Alexander Nix, the suspended CEO of Cambridge Analytica, recalling him to Parliament to give further evidence. Mr. Nix has agreed to come before the Committee again. You can watch the evidence session that took place on 27th February 2018 where Mr. Nix gave evidence on Parliamentlive.tv and read the transcript.


Monday, 26 March 2018

A brief scrutiny of the byzantium maze that is Cambridge Analytica


Attempting to make sense of a group of corporate actors who obviously delighted in establishing a veritable labyrinth of companies and to create a reference to follow any future revelations.........

So what does the British-US company Cambridge Analytica which; 
(i) has been accused of rat f**king the 2015 Nigerian presidential election and the 2013 & 2017 Kenyan elections
(ii) allegedly influenced the 2016 UK Brexit referendum vote by assisting the Leave.EU campaign
(iii) was known to have purchased data from Global Science Research Ltd who harvested personal details from an est. 50 million Facebook user accounts and, 
(iv) later sold a breakdown of user data first to a number of GOP candidates during 2014 midterms, as well as to Ted Cruz during the US primaries and then to Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential campaign,
actually look like on paper?

This appears to be the company whose business name is included in so many media reports at the moment:

Cambridge Analytica LLC incorporated in Delaware USA on 31 December 2013 offering data mining, analysis, and behavioral communication solutions according to Bloomberg.com and, now considered a subsidiary of SCL Group Limited.

“The genesis of Cambridge Analytica was to address the vacuum in the US Republican political market that became evident after [Mitt] Romney’s defeat in 2012” [Alexander Nix, CEO Cambridge Analytics].

Executives

Alexander James Ashburner Nix  Chief Executive Officer
Julian David Wheatland Chief Financial Officer
Mark Turnbull Managing Director of CA Political Global
Thomas Finkle Global Head of Client Services

It shares its name with a UK Company CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA (UK) LIMITED - formerly SCL USA Limited incorporated 6 January 2015. 

Directors

NIX, Alexander James Ashburner Appointed founding sole director 6 January 2015. Only shareholder - in his own name and through another company solely owned by him,  SCL Elections Limited (incorporated 17 October 2012). 

SCL Elections Limited is described by Cambridge Analylitica as "an affiliate of Cambridge Analytica" and also the "genisis" of Cambridge Analytica. It is now being blamed for receiving harvested Facebook data and Cambridge Analytica is hypocritically trying to distance itself in a company media release on 23 March 2018.

The Cambridge Analytica website states it has offices in London, New York, Washington DC, Brazil and Malaysia. Until 20 March 2018 Alexander Nix was listed as its CEO. Acting CEO is now Chief Data Scientist at SCL Group Limited Dr. Alexander Tayler.

How do two firms on opposite sides of the world - one of which has only one director/owner and no indentifiable board members - suddenly become this company with reputed influence and tentacles everywhere?

Perhaps the answer lies in the est. US$15 million in indirect funding Cambridge Analytica has allegedly received from right-wing American billionaire Robert Mercer & his daughter Rebekah through one or all five affiliated US 'front' companies including Cambridge Analytica LLC and in its relationship with another UK corporation with which it shares information/data/personnel.

The remaining US 'front' companies are:

Cambridge Analytica Holdings LLC (Delaware (US), 9 May 2014- )
Cambridge Analytica Commercial LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- )
Cambridge Analytica Political LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- )

That other UK company is SCL Group Limited formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories Limited incorporated on 20 July 2005 by STG Secretaries Limited on behalf of an unidentified person/s, with an opening share capital of £100,000.

Directors

NIX, Alexander James Ashburner Appointed co-founding director along with Alexander Waddinton Oakes on 20 July 2005, resigned on 7 December 2012 and reappointed on 28 January 2016. Shareholder. Owner of Cambridge Analytica (UK) Limited.
OAKES, Nigel John Appointed on 3 October 2005. Shareholder.
GABB, Roger Michael Appointed on 10 November 2005. Shareholder. Ownership of shares – more than 25% but not more than 50%. Ownership of voting rights - more than 25% but not more than 50%
WHEATLAND, Julian David Appointed on 20 December 2007. Shareholder.

Barclays Bank PLC current lender to the company It seems this bank assisted in restructuring SCL Group Limited's finances.

Company Positions Identified by LinkedIn

United Kingdom
Web / Software Developer at Cambridge Analytica / SCL Group
Twickenham, United Kingdom
Current: Web Developer at SCL Group
Data Engineer presso Cambridge Analytica
London, United Kingdom
Current: Data Engineer at Cambridge Analytica & SCL Group
Account Director at Cambridge Analytica
London, United Kingdom
Current: Senior Project Manager at SCL Group
Chairman at SCL Group Chief Executive at Hatton International
London, United Kingdom
Current: Chairman at SCL Group
CEO, SCL Group - Behavioural Influence
London, United Kingdom
Current: CEO at SCL Group - Strategic Communication Laboratories
Financial Crime Investigations & Security Intelligence
London, United Kingdom
Current: Head - Fraud Surveillance, Corruption, Investigations at SCL Group
Head of Elections
London, United Kingdom
Current: Head of Elections at SCL Group
Lead Data Scientist at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Director of Operations (SCL) / Consultant (BDI)
London, United Kingdom
Current: Director of Operations (from 2011), Head of Infrastructures (2009-2011) at The SCL Group
DevOps Engineer at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Current: Development Operations Engineer at SCL Group
Senior Planning Engineer at SCL Group
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Community manager chez SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Current: Community manager at SCL Group
Financial Controller at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Management Accountant at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Account Coordinator at SCL Group
United Kingdom
Paralegal
London, United Kingdom
Current: Paralegal at SCL Group
IT Support Analyst at SCL Group
Slough, United Kingdom

United States
Director, Business Development at SCL Group
Washington D.C. Metro Area
Senior Data Scientist at SCL Group
Washington D.C. Metro Area

Canada
Technical Manager at SCL Group
Alberta, Canada

Russia
Менеджер по закупкам - SCL Group [purchasing manager]
Russian Federation
Current: Менеджер по закупкам at SCL Group

Macedonia
Head of SCL Balkans at SCL Group
Macedonia

Germany
Project Manager bei SCL Group
Hannover Area, Germany
Current: Project Manager at SCL Group

Netherlands
Behavioural & Legal Research Scientist // BDI Consultant
Breda Area, Netherlands

Australia
Project Portfolio Manager at SCL Group Australia
Sydney, Australia
Current: Project Portfolio Manager at SCL Group

New Zealand
SCL Products Manager at SCL Group
Auckland, New Zealand

Malaysia
Head, CA Political/Commercial Southeast Asia
Putra Jaya, Malaysia
Current: Director of SCL Southeast Asia at SCL Group

India
Research Analyst at SCL Group
New Delhi Area, India
Director Business Development at SCL Group
New Delhi Area, India

China
CUSTOMER SERVICE at SCL Group
China

Open Corporates' Company Grouping for Cambridge Analytica

 SCL GROUP LIMITED (United Kingdom, 20 Jul 2005- ) directors
 SCL INSIGHT LIMITED (United Kingdom, 13 Sep 2016- ) directors
 SCL ELECTIONS LIMITED (United Kingdom, 17 Oct 2012- ) director
 SCL ANALYTICS LIMITED (United Kingdom, 23 Oct 2015- ) directors
 CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA(UK) LIMITED (United Kingdom, 6 Jan 2015- ) director
 SCL COMMERCIAL LIMITED (United Kingdom, 10 Jan 2014- ) director
SCL SOCIAL LIMITED (United Kingdom, 19 Feb 2013- ) director
 inactive SCL SOVEREIGN LIMITED (United Kingdom, 6 Jan 2015-28 Jun 2016) director Voluntarily dissolved June 2016
 inactive BOLDNOTE LIMITED (United Kingdom, 27 Oct 2004- 8 Jan 2013) directors Voluntarily dissolved January 2013
inactive SCL DIGITAL LIMITED (United Kingdom, 6 Jan 2015-28 Jun 2016) director Voluntarily dissolved January 2015
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA LLC (Delaware (US), 31 Dec 2013- ) 
 inactive branch SCL USA INC. (Virginia (US), 25 May 2016-31 Jul 2017) 
 SCL USA INC. (Delaware (US), 22 Apr 2014- ) details
 branch SCL USA INC. (New York (US), 10 May 2016- )
 branch SCL USA Inc. (District of Columbia (US), 22 Apr 2014- ) 
 inactive Strategic Communication Laboratories LLC (Virginia (US), 7 Mar 2011-30 Jun 2013) 
 STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION LABORATORIES, INC. (Delaware (US), 23 Aug 2006- )
 CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA COMMERCIAL LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- ) 
 CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA POLITICAL LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- ) 


BACKGROUND

The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 March 2018:

Wylie, a Canadian citizen, moved to London in 2010 and started to work in 2013 for SCL Group, which he said conducted "information operations" around the world and also worked in campaigns, especially in African nations.

As research director, Wylie helped that company give birth to Cambridge Analytica as "an American brand" that would focus on US politics with at least $US10 million from billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer. The Cambridge Analytica office was in the posh Mayfair neighbourhood of London, and the dozens of young workers - many of them contractors, a number of whom were from Eastern Europe - buzzed about with Apple laptops.

At the helm, said Wylie, was Mercer's daughter Rebekah, who was president, and conservative strategist Steve Bannon, who was vice president. Running day-to-day operations was a smooth-talking upper-crust Briton, Alexander Nix……

Wylie said that it was under Nix's direction - but with the knowledge of Bannon and Rebekah Mercer - that Cambridge Analytica began an ambitious data-gathering program that included tapping into the Facebook profiles of 50 million users through the use of a personality-testing app. The company did that with the help of a Russian American psychologist at Cambridge University, Aleksandr Kogan, who also made regular visits back to Russia, according to Wylie.

Wylie said he and others at Cambridge Analytica were initially skeptical of the power of this tactic for gathering data. But when the company approved $US1000 for Kogan to experiment with his app, he produced data on 1000 people who downloaded it and roughly 160,000 of their friends - all in a matter of hours.

Cambridge Analytica next approved $US10,000 for a second round of testing and was rewarded with nearly a million records, including names, home towns, dates of birth, religious affiliations, work and educational histories, and preferences, as expressed using the popular Facebook "like" button on many social media updates, news stories and other online posts.

They soon married that data with voter lists and commercial data broker information and discovered they had a remarkably precise portrait of a large swath of the American electorate.

Kogan's app, called "thisisyourdigitallife" and portrayed as being for research purposes, gathered data on the 270,000 people who downloaded it and tens of millions of their Facebook friends. It was this data and others that Wylie later worried might have ended up in Russian hands.

"I'm not saying that we put it on a drive and posted it to Vladimir Putin on Number 1 Red Square," Wylie said, referring to the Russian president's official residence. But he said that he and others affiliated with Cambridge Analytica briefed Lukoil, a Russian oil company, on its research into American voters. 


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The Guardian, 14 May 2017:

What was not known, until February, was the relationship between all these figures and the Leave campaign. That was when Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s communications director, revealed to this paper that Farage was a close friend of both Bannon and Mercer. He said that the Leave campaign was a “petri dish” for the Trump campaign. “We shared a lot of information because what they were trying to do and what we were trying to do had massive parallels.”

Wigmore also said that Mercer had been “happy to help” and Cambridge Analytica had given its services to the campaign for free. It was the general secretary of Ukip, a British lawyer called Matthew Richardson, who effected Leave.eu’s introduction to Cambridge Analytica, Wigmore said. “We had a guy called Matthew Richardson who’d known Nigel for a long time and he’s always looked after the Mercers. The Mercers hadsaid that here’s this company that we think might be useful.”

He said that Mercer, Farage and co had all met at a conference in Washington. “The best dinner we ever went to. Around that table were all the rejects of the political world. And the rejects of the political world are now effectively in the White House. It’s extraordinary. Jeff Sessions. [Former national security adviser Michael] Flynn, the whole lot of them. They were all there.”

When the Observer revealed Mercer’s “help” in February, a “gift” of services, it triggered two investigations. One by the Information Commissioner’s Office about possible illegal use of data. And another by the Electoral Commission. Cambridge Analytica is a US company and Mercer is a US citizen and British law, designed to protect its electoral system from outside influence, expressly forbids donations from foreign – or impermissible – donors. The commission is also looking into the “help” that Gunster gave the campaign. It was not declared in Leave.EU’s spending returns and if donated, it would also be impermissible. Gavin Millar QC, an expert in electoral law, says it raises questions of the utmost importance about the influence of an American citizen in a UK election.

But the contents of this document raise even more significant and urgent questions. Coordination between campaigns destroys the “level playing field” on which UK electoral law is based. It creates an unfair advantage.

Millar said that one of the significant and revealing aspects of the arrangement was that it was hidden. “It’s the covert nature of the relationship between these two companies and campaigns that I find particularly revealing and alarming. If there is covert cooperation via offshore entities, [it] is about as serious a breach of the funding rules as one can imagine in the 21st century.”

Millar said that this case was without precedent. “To have a billionaire so directly buying influence in a British election is absolutely unheard of. This is completely out of the ordinary. And what’s clear is that our electoral laws are hopelessly inadequate. The only way we would be able to find the truth of what happened is through a public inquiry.”

The link between Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ was never supposed to come to light. And it is still uncertain how Vote Leave came to work with AggregateIQ.
There are several major Tory donors and pro-Brexit figures associated with Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections, including Lord Marland, former treasurer of the Conservative party and head of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. The pro-Brexit Tory donor Roger Gabb, the owner of South African wine company Kumala, is also a shareholder and was involved in one of the Leave campaigns. In a separate incident he was fined £1,000 by the Electoral Commission for failing to include “imprints” – or campaign branding – on newspaper ads.

The Observer revealed last week that two core members of the Vote Leave team used to work with both Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ. Cummings said that he found the company – on which he spent by far the biggest chunk of his campaign budget – “on the internet”.


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Digital, Culture, Media and Sport CommitteeOral evidence: Fake News, HC 363, Tuesday 27 February 2018, Ordered by the House of Commons to be published on 27 February 2018.
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Cambridge Analytica is currently under investigation in the UK with the Information Commissioner's Office entering the company's London office under search warrant on 23 March 2018.