Cambridge Analytica, the data-driven electioneering firm that set off a global uproar over the uses of Facebook data, announced that it was shutting down just last week, blaming the disappearance of clients following the scandal. But filings in the U.K. suggest its leaders could be planning to simply resume operations under a different name or names.
Emerdata Limited was incorporated in the U.K. in August of 2017, around the time the earliest reporting about Cambridge Analytica was gaining traction. Cambridge Analytica Chief Data Officer Alexander Tayler was initially listed as an owner along with Julian Wheatland, chairman of Cambridge Analytica parent company SCL. Another company, Firecrest Technologies Limited, was incorporated as a subsidiary of Emerdata in March 2018, according to public records highlighted Saturday by the Guardian.
Former Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was for a time listed as a director of both companies, but has been removed. Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer, however, are still listed as directors of Emerdata. They are daughters of Robert Mercer, the U.S. hedge fund billionaire who helped fund Cambridge Analytica, and also supported both Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the campaign for Brexit.
Emerdata Limited is described in filings as conducting “data processing, hosting and related activities,” while Firecrest Technologies is described as engaging in “business and domestic software development.” Either or both of those companies could encompass the psychographic profiling that Cambridge Analytica sold to political campaigns in India, Kenya, and the United States.