Cambridge Analytica’s former chief data officer and acting CEO has launched a new consultancy offering his services as a “data privacy advocate”, claiming that he can offer strategic advice on “data analytics and data regulatory compliance”.
The company collapsed last month after being accused of illegally accessing the data of 87 million Facebook users for political means. It is now under investigation by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, including the European Parliament, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, the US Justice Department and the FBI.
However, this appears not to have phased former chief Alexander Tayler, who, according to the Financial Times has set up a website promoting his expertise. He has also updated his LinkedIn profile with his current role as an independent consultant.
Tayler joined Cambridge Analytica in April 2014 as lead data scientist, and was promoted within 18 months to chief data officer. He became interim CEO after the departure of Alexander Nix.
Tayler left the company in April, “to focus on the various technical investigations and inquiries”. Within weeks, Cambridge Analytica chiefs liquidated the company, citing a mass exodus of customers and suppliers. According to Companies House, Tayler resigned as a director of affiliated company Emerdata, which has also been folded.
The directors deny any wrong-doing. The ICO, however, is not convinced. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham recently told the European Parliament inquiry that the probe into the use of data analytics for political purposes is the largest investigation ever undertaken by a data protection authority, with over 60 experts working on the case.
Last week, former Cambridge Analytica CEO Nix told MPs that the company was “predominantly staffed by very young, very ideological and very talented individuals who come from a broad range of political ideologies and interests”.
He added: “They genuinely have been working to understand how they can use data to make the world a better place on many different levels, by contributing to developing communication and how that is used, and also in the social and development sphere, in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation.”
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