Trump’s new national security advisor has ties to Cambridge Analytica

Trump’s third national security advisor, John Bolton, shares at least one thing in common with his first one, Michael Flynn: both men have ties to Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm at the center of a new Facebook privacy firestorm. In a new story, The New York Times reports that John Bolton’s political action committee The John Bolton Super PAC hired Cambridge Analytica in August 2014, “months after the political data firm was founded and while it was still harvesting the Facebook data.” In Cambridge Analytica’s early days, Bolton’s PAC funneled $1.2 million toward polling and “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging” over the course of two years. “To do that work, Cambridge used Facebook data, according to the documents and two former employees familiar with the work,” The New York Times reports. That research supported candidates on the right, including Republican Thom Tillis’s 2014 bid for
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Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm that worked for the Trump campaign

Facebook announced late Friday that it had suspended the account of Strategic Communication Laboratories, and its political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica — which used Facebook data to target voters for President Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 election. In a statement released by Paul Grewal, the company’s vice president and deputy general counsel, Facebook explained that the suspension was the result of a violation of its platform policies. Cambridge Analytica apparently obtained Facebook user information without approval from the social network through work the company did with a University of Cambridge psychology professor named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan. Kogan developed an “thisisyourdigitallife” that purported to offer a personality prediction that would be “a research app used by psychologists”. Apparently around 270,000 people downloaded the app and gave Kogan access to both geographic information, content they had liked, and limited information about users’ friends. That information was then passed on
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InfoSum’s first product touts decentralized big data insights

 Nick Halstead’s new startup, InfoSum, is launching its first product today — moving one step closer to his founding vision of a data platform that can help businesses and organizations unlock insights from big data silos without compromising user privacy, data security or data protection law. So a pretty high bar then. If the underlying tech lives up to the promises being made for… Read More

Google Flights will now predict airline delays – before the airlines do

 Google is rolling out a few new features to its Google Flights search engine to help travelers tackle some of the more frustrating aspects of air travel – delays and the complexities of the cheaper, Basic Economy fares. With the regard to delays, Google Flights won’t just be pulling in information from the airlines directly, however – it will take advantage of its… Read More

Clairvoyant launches Kogni to help companies track their most sensitive data

 As we inch ever closer to GDPR in May, companies doing business in Europe need to start getting a grip on the sensitive private data they have. The trouble is that as companies move their data into data lakes, massive big data stores, it becomes more difficult to find data in a particular category. Clairvoyant, an Arizona company is releasing a tool called Kogni that could help. Chandra… Read More

Collibra snags $58 M Series D led by Iconiq and Battery Ventures to simplify data governance

 Collibra, a company that wants to help firms understand data governance, announced a $58 million Series D funding round today led by Iconiq Capital and Battery Ventures. All of the investors involved in this round were coming back for another dip in the well. In addition to Iconiq and Battery Ventures, early Collibra investors Dawn Capital, Index Ventures and Newion Investments also participated. Read More