August 6, 2019

FTC files complaint against Cambridge Analytica, settles with former CEO and programmer

On July 24, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had filed an administrative complaint against Cambridge Analytica, LLC, alleging that the company employed deceptive tactics to collect personal information from millions of Facebook users for the purpose of voter targeting and voter profiling.  Separately, the FTC announced settlements with Alexander Nix and Aleksandr Kogan, respectively the former Cambridge Analytica CEO and GSRApp developer, who consented to the entry of administrative orders that prohibit them from making any false of deceptive statements regarding their collection, use, or sharing of personal information, require the destruction of personal information they collected for Cambridge Analytica, and impose periodic reporting and disclosure requirements for a period of five years.

According to the complaint, the respondents were able to collect Facebook profile data by falsely representing to users that the GSRApp did not collect identifiable information from users who authorized it.  In addition, the complaint alleges that although Cambridge Analytica joined the EU-US Privacy Shield framework in May 2017, and continued to assure consumers of its adherence to the Privacy Shield principles, the company’s certification had lapsed.  

Cambridge Analytica has filed for bankruptcy, and has not settled with the FTC.

FTC press release | Complaint (Cambridge Analytica) |

Consent order (Nix) | Consent order (Kogan)