Infamous political consulting group Cambridge Analytica had planned to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) before it became tangled up in Facebook’s data sharing scandal.
According to Reuters, the British data analytics firm had quietly approached an ICO advisory service with preliminary questions about holding a token sale, through which it hoped to gain $30 million.
The report states that it is unclear whether the company plans to follow through with the ICO, but a spokesperson did confirm that Cambridge Analytica — in a humorous twist — is developing a blockchain-based platform to help individuals “reclaim their data from corporate entities.”
“Prior to the Facebook controversy, we were developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used,” a Cambridge Analytica spokesman told the publication. “We were exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetise their personal data, including blockchain technology.”
That’s more than a little ironic. The data analytics firm, which was hired by US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, reportedly gained access to the personal data of as many as 87 million Facebook users as a result of improper data sharing practices on the part of the social media giant.
A New York Times report divers further into the nature of Cambridge Analytica’s foray into the cryptocurrency space, where it used its “psychographic profiles” of consumers to conduct targeted advertising campaigns for ICOs and other blockchain companies.
Investors who attended one Cambridge Analytica pitch deck said that the company also floated paying Mexican voters cryptocurrencies in exchange for filling out surveys, data from which would then be sold to Mexican political candidates and used to create ad campaigns.
Notably, Brittany Kaiser, who led Cambridge Analytica’s ICO-focused work, left the company in February and has been extremely critical of it in the two months since her exit.
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