A lot of bad things happening today on the web are tied to a single name: Cambridge Analytica. The firm–and Facebook–was first criticised for obtaining and using data of 87 million users to build psychological profiles for political campaigns.
Just recently, the company’s former employee Brittany Kaiser, who’s the latest whistleblower in town, revealed that the Facebook data leak might be far more in numbers.
According to NY Times, Kaiser also spilled the beans about more of Cambridge Analytica’s plans in an interview. The company was working on an initial coin offering (ICO) for new virtual currency.
The development of the blockchain-based crypto coin started in mid-2017, and it was being looked after by Kaiser and suspended CEO Alexander Nix.
The idea was that users could trade their personal information in exchange for crypto coins, allowing them to store their data online and sell it to advertisers.
This eliminates the need for hosting some quiz and suck information with the user being informed. But their dreams didn’t come to fruition as CA’s massive data scooping activity from the past came to light.
The political consulting firm also considered cryptocurrency incentives for people in remote areas of Mexico for filling out survey forms. The data gathered from the survey could be used to craft political campaigns in Mexico.
While it’s unclear if the said cryptocurrency is still in development, sources told Reuters that the company did so with an intention to raise funds, around $30 million.
A spokesperson of the company said in an email that their blockchain technology was meant to help people secure their data online and “reclaim personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over their data.”
As per the documents sourced by NYTimes, CA also made its contribution to promoting the cryptocurrency called Dragon Coin – designed to be used for gambling. It’s believed that Dragon Coin is sponsored by Macau’s 14K triad leader Wan Kuok-Koi aka Broken Tooth. Despite his name mentioned in documents, Dragon Coin has denied any connections.
ICOs are the new fashion when it comes to raising funds online. But their unregulated nature has put them in the bad books of financial regulators as it introduces the possibility of fraud.