FTC Slaps Cambridge Analytica With An Order Barring The Already Defunct Company From Illegally Collecting Data Ever Again

from the it's-all-for-show dept

There still remains little to no evidence that the silly games played by Cambridge Analytica actually did anything at all to influence voting practices in the US. However, Facebook allowing the company to get a bunch of data was a big part of the basis for hitting the company with a $5 billion fine earlier this year. The FTC also went after Cambridge Analytica, targeting the company, its CEO Alexander Nix, and the academic/app developer Aleksandr Kagan, whose app was used to grab all that Facebook data.

Of course, Nix and Kagan settled with the FTC a while back and Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018. The company -- whatever is left of it -- completely ignored the FTC, and thus the FTC has now issued a mostly meaningless opinion, saying that the company violated the already problematic EU-US Privacy Shield agreement around transferring data across the Atlantic, and because of that Cambridge Analytica (which, I should remind you, is no longer around) is now barred from doing this again.

In its Opinion, the Commission found that Cambridge Analytica violated the FTC Act through the deceptive conduct alleged in the complaint. The Final Order prohibits Cambridge Analytica from making misrepresentations about the extent to which it protects the privacy and confidentiality of personal information, as well as its participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and other similar regulatory or standard-setting organizations. In addition, the company is required to continue to apply Privacy Shield protections to personal information it collected while participating in the program (or to provide other protections authorized by law), or return or delete the information. It also must delete the personal information that it collected through the GSRApp.

That'll show 'em.

Filed Under: data, data collection, ftc, privacy
Companies: cambridge analytica


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2019 @ 5:20pm

    It's probably mostly a waste of paper but it might affect anyone the data was transferred to.

    idk if legal action can be taken against a different company for accepting the data from the defunct company.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2019 @ 6:18pm

    The company is gone and all its assets, including data, have been transferred to Harvard Vomitoria, Inc., which is not served by this notice, and therefore doesn't have to delete anything. Of course, if that company independently violates the FTC and/or Privacy Shield, it runs the very real risk of its founder's deceased great-grandchildren being served with their ancestor's very own "BEHAVE! or we'll tell you to behave, again!" notice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Dec 2019 @ 6:31pm

    We have secured the barn door.
    Ignore the barn burned a decade ago, the horses ran off & we never went to retrieve them.
    But this door is secure!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 11 Dec 2019 @ 6:50pm

      Re:

      I have to say that with the information economy the way it is, we need a whole new set of similes. Even the simile of spitting in In an ocean really doesn't describe the pathetic futility of this action.

      So how about this: They have now protected the key hole in the barn door that used to be on the barn that burned down.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Designerfx (profile), 10 Dec 2019 @ 7:07pm

    Little to no evidence?

    Did you not read the government confirmation of Cambridge impacting both brexit and the election? Have your watched the great hack?

    There's a lot of information around Cambridge and their ties to tons of campaigns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2019 @ 7:58am

      Re: Little to no evidence?

      Did you not read the government confirmation of Cambridge impacting both brexit and the election?

      Do you have a link to that?

      Have your watched the great hack?

      What?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 10 Dec 2019 @ 11:44pm

    There are so many tricks..

    So many lies and strangeness.
    How about Where in hell the data went.. or Is..
    HOw many companies can we say are 110% on the up and up with all our Info and data, or anything related to Customers..
    How about the concept of restricting Hardware from certain area's, and a Sub company or 3rd party Buys tons and sells there are a MODEST(LOL) profit.
    How much data can be lost?

    Iv suggested to many that even in the past, the data sheets are HUGE, and iif you get more and more, and Connect a few dots to Add to the data files.. You are as bad as most USA corps, including PCH... If you could get the money from sharing your content and data...there is a very good chance you would be rich.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    127.0.0.1 (profile), 11 Dec 2019 @ 1:56am

    Advisory to FTC

    Don't take a knife to a gun fight ... unless you only want to take scalps.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    p0g0, 11 Dec 2019 @ 4:06am

    Demographics and gerrymandering

    I'll dispute that there is no impact from providing demographic and location data to the unscrupulous elected- I base that disputation on witnessing my state's (Kentucky) descent into political polarity. After the 1990 census, I was lobbying for a state bill on medical waste incinerator permitting. I am in IT professional, and knew many of my state employed peers as I encountered them in the halls of the capitol- they were tweaking the GIS/demographic data they had to construct new districts. Because of that redistricting, Kentucky Democrats have lost most elections where prior we had a plurality of both parties. That influence was compounded in the next two census/redistricting cycles. So, if you want to argue that Mitch McConnell, very unpopular in his own state, would still be in office without that demographic and GIS work, I'd argue that you are wrong. Feel free to argue that America would be in worse shape without McConnell, I'll dispute that too. The principle holds at all scales, Cambridge Analytica helped to disenfranchise voters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 13 Dec 2019 @ 12:42pm

      Re: Demographics and gerrymandering

      So, if you want to argue that Mitch McConnell, very unpopular in his own state, would still be in office without that demographic and GIS work, I'd argue that you are wrong.

      Did Kentucky rely on Cambridge Analytica for that data to do the redistricting? If it had not been for them, would they have been able to get the data from someone else?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2019 @ 5:12am

    Typical of USA actions towards companies! Wait until the 'punishment' will have absolutely no effect, then issue it! What the hell is the point? It's like chastising Verizon for doing nothing promised as faf as rnabling faster broadband, using public money, then, ehen it fails using ehstevrr excuses it can dream up, give it more public money to do more nothing with! Ridiculous!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2019 @ 6:30am

    Massive data mining has little to no effect on an election? Chill out with the shilling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2019 @ 6:58am

    "Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018"

    And is now called .....

    Like that Blackwater bunch, all one needs is a new name and everything is cool baby.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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