Is Cambridge Analytica really shutting down?

A new company, Emerdata, shares many of the same personnel — and many of the same addresses.

Cambridge Analytica, with its New York office pictured above, says it's shutting down, but a new company shares certain striking similarities. CREDIT: GETTY / DREW ANGERER
Cambridge Analytica, with its New York office pictured above, says it's shutting down, but a new company shares certain striking similarities. CREDIT: GETTY / DREW ANGERER

On Wednesday, Julian Wheatland, the new CEO of the much-maligned Cambridge Analytica, told employees that both Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL Group, were shutting down for good. One of the primary reasons Wheatland cited, according to Gizmodo, was that any attempt to rebrand the company in the face of its massive data harvesting scandal was “futile.”

That may be true for the employees, but it doesn’t appear to apply to Cambridge Analytica’s higher-ups.

Rebekah Mercer — who, along with her father, served as Cambridge Analytica’s main source of funding — joined the board of a new company called Emerdata, NBC reported Wednesday.

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Much like Cambridge Analytica, which is facing scrutiny from British and American governments for its role in swiping data from tens of millions of unsuspecting Facebook users, Emerdata appears to be a data harvesting company. Rebekah’s sister Jennifer also joined her on Emerdata’s board.

Even more evidence of the proximity between Emerdata and Cambridge Analytica, which helped U.S. President Donald Trump to victory in 2016: Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica’s ex-CEO, had planned on directing the new company, according to NBC.

Nix was named a director of Emerdata in February, before the Facebook scandal broke — but was terminated on April 13, according to a British government filing. That same day, Alexander Tayler, the former chief data officer at Cambridge Analytica, was named a director of Emerdata…

In a British government filing declaring her new role as director at Emerdata, Rebekah Mercer listed her correspondence address as 597 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan — Cambridge Analytica’s New York office.

In March, Business Insider described Emerdata’s goals as “mysterious,” noting that it had only been incorporated in August 2017, and that it listed its address as the same location as the SCL Group.

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While little is known about Emerdata, company filing information revealed four other directors alongside the Mercer sisters. And the COO? None other than Wheatland, who listed his address as the same as Emerdata’s — and the same as the SCL Group’s.