Your guide to Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica su...

Posted: Mar 21, 2018 12:19 PM
Updated: Mar 21, 2018 12:19 PM

Cambridge Analytica suspended CEO Alexander Nix on Tuesday. It's the latest development in a complicated story involving the embattled data analytics firm, a self-described whistleblower and misused Facebook data.

Here's a guide to the company everyone's been talking about.

What is it?

Cambridge Analytica was hired by Donald Trump's campaign during the 2016 election.

The firm has been funded in part by Republican donor and hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his family, and has ties to former and current Trump advisers. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is the firm's former vice president, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway consulted for the company.

It is affiliated with the strategic communications firm SCL Group.

In its Twitter bio, Cambridge Analytica said it offers "behavioral microtargeting," as well as "political campaign support" and "digital support."

Why is Cambridge Analytica in the news?

The scandal erupted over the weekend when The New York Times and UK media reported that Cambridge Analytica tried to influence American voters using information gleaned from 50 million Facebook users.

Facebook says the data in question was initially gathered a few years ago properly by psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan.

At the time, Facebook allowed Kogan to harvest information from users who downloaded his app, which offered a personality test. Those Facebook users also gave Kogan permission to collect data from their friends.

Kogan passed that data on to SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica, which was working to develop techniques that could be used to influence voters.

Facebook said that the transfer of information from Kogan to Cambridge Analytica breached it's rules. Cambridge Analytica maintains that it deleted all the data in 2015 when it learned that Facebook rules had been broken.

The company defended itself in a tweet storm over the weekend.

"Advertising is not coercive; people are smarter than that," the company tweeted on Saturday. It added, "this isn't a spy movie."

It has continued to tweet about the scandal.

A former contractor, Christopher Wylie, disputes that Cambridge Analytica destroyed the user data. He is the self-described whistleblower who has shared his story with the press.

Related: What you need to know about Facebook's data debacle

What's the latest?

Facebook has suspended Cambridge Analytica and SCL, and asked Cambridge Analytica to agree to an audit in an attempt to show that the data in question was deleted.

Cambrige Analytica agreed, but the audit was called off by the UK's main data protection agency, a Facebook spokesman told CNN.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office has announced it is seeking a warrant to conduct its own on-site investigation. Facebook will continue with its own probe.

Related: Facebook's data crisis deepens as questions mount

Meanwhile, fallout for the company has continued.

Cambridge Analytica suspended Nix in the wake of undercover reports showing him discussing potential bribery and entrapment.

Nix's suspension is immediate, "pending a full, independent investigation," the firm said in a statement.

The statement was released moments before Channel 4 News in the UK was due to air another report in a series of exposes about the work of the company.

The report on Tuesday featured undercover footage of Nix claiming he met Trump "many times" and that the company was responsible for a wide swath of the Trump campaign's activity.

"We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting," Nix said. "We ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign, and our data informed all the strategy."

Alex Tayler, labeled as the chief data officer for Cambridge Analytica, is recorded separately as saying the firm's analysis was responsible for Trump's Electoral College performance.

Related: Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO Alexander Nix after undercover recordings air

"When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, but won the Electoral College, that's down to the data and the research," Tayler said. "That's how he won the election."

Nix denied in a statement that the company engages in entrapment or bribery.

Cambridge Analytica's statement on Tuesday said an independent investigation would take place with the company revealing its findings "in due course."

"Mr. Nix's recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation," the statement said.

- CNN's Maegan Vazquez, Paul Murphy, Aaron Kessler, Brian Stelter, Eli Watkins Carol Jordan and Mark Thompson contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1342777

Reported Deaths: 21471
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1502191556
Cuyahoga1327732318
Hamilton962791318
Montgomery659161136
Summit555141045
Lucas50248862
Butler46732653
Stark40741974
Lorain31004529
Warren29609328
Mahoning26462637
Clermont25206287
Lake24339416
Delaware22014143
Licking20180241
Fairfield20139221
Greene19955268
Trumbull19500508
Medina19478286
Clark17565325
Richland15949231
Portage15851228
Wood15438208
Allen13875256
Miami13549249
Muskingum12261149
Wayne11647237
Columbiana11344239
Tuscarawas10657265
Marion10509148
Pickaway10301128
Scioto10082126
Erie9618171
Ross9209174
Lawrence8516116
Hancock8298141
Ashtabula8180185
Geauga8066155
Belmont7966184
Jefferson7324168
Huron7253127
Union717849
Washington7037119
Athens681064
Sandusky6734133
Darke6559136
Knox6475121
Seneca6237137
Ashland5808112
Auglaize580488
Shelby5654101
Mercer552190
Brown551068
Defiance5361100
Madison535170
Crawford5299114
Highland527581
Fulton520082
Clinton515980
Logan503182
Preble4902110
Putnam4778106
Guernsey454661
Williams448281
Champaign436264
Perry432152
Ottawa431184
Jackson413260
Pike378941
Morrow369150
Fayette367652
Coshocton359466
Hardin350069
Adams348069
Gallia338054
Holmes3197108
Henry318868
Van Wert307170
Hocking291669
Wyandot276158
Carroll256752
Paulding236442
Meigs205242
Monroe185049
Noble164840
Morgan159228
Harrison151940
Vinton133918
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Decatur
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 72°
Sunday is shaping up to be another beautiful day.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events