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UK Bans Former Cambridge Analytica Chief From Running Firms


09/30/2020


UK Bans Former Cambridge Analytica Chief From Running Firms
A United Kingdom state agency said that the former chief of the now defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica will not be allowed to form and run any limited liability companies in the UK for a period of seven years over charges that he had allowed his staff to offer “unethical services”.
 
The UK’s Insolvency Service said on Thursday that while Alexander Nix adorned the position of a director of Cambridge Analytica, there were five linked companies of Cambridge Analytica that had marketed themselves and their services by saying that they offered clients “bribery or honey trap stings” and “voter disengagement campaigns”.
 
The Service said that the disqualification had been accepted by Nix.
 
In an interview to the news agency Reuters, Nix said that he had not admitted to doing anything wrong and that the authorities had not accused him of breaking any laws, he however said that he had decided to “avoid an unnecessary, lengthy and expensive court case” by bringing the matter to a close.
 
Hired as a consultant by United States President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, Cambridge Analytica was forced to close down in 2018 after a scandal was reveled in which the firm was accused of illegally and unethically mining personal data of millions of Americans who were also users of Facebook.
 
After suffering a sharp decline in business amid the bad publicity, it and its parent company SCL Elections ceased trading, the company had said at the time.
 
After the companies went into compulsory liquidation, an investigation  into the role and conduct of the companies’ directors’ had been initiated by it, the British government’s Insolvency Service said.
 
“Our conclusions were clear that SCL Elections had repeatedly offered shady political services to potential clients over a number of years,” Mark Bruce, the Insolvency Service’s chief investigator, said in Thursday’s statement.
 
It had found that Nix “had caused or permitted SCL Elections or associated companies to act with a lack of commercial probity”, the agency said.
 
“The unethical services offered by the companies included bribery or honey trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns,” it said in its statement.
 
Whether any of those services had ever been performed for a client by the companies was not made clear in the statement.
 
The service said that Nix would be barred from becoming the director of any company or get involved with a limited company without court permission starting October 5 for a period f seven years.
 
“In relation to my undertakings to the Secretary of State, I have made no admission of wrongdoing and importantly the Government did not seek to press that I had breached any laws,” Nix told Reuters.
 
(Source:www.aljazeera.com)