I’ve been getting this question a lot after the recent notoriety of Cambridge Analytica, Inc.
Steven Bannon says he helped found Cambridge Analytica in 2013. He said “I gave it that amazing name,” and added “It’s a stroke of genius.” Glad you like the name, Steve! So did we when we named our software “Analytica” in 1996.
The short answer is that Lumina has absolutely no connection to Cambridge Analytica!
Yes, Analytica is the name of our flagship software. And, yes, I got my bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University. And yes, Lumina and its customers use our Analytica software to gain valuable insights from large datasets. But, we don’t do psychographic profiling or anything like that. And we certainly don’t use unauthorized data from Facebook or anywhere else!
Unfortunately for people searching for Analytica, all this news has our Analytica way off the first page of search results. But you can find us easily at “analytica.com” or just “analytica software”.
Many of the players from CA have set up a new company, Emerdata. Its directors include Alexander Nix, CA’s suspended CEO, Alexander Tayler, CA’s Chief Data Officer and Acting CEO, and Robert Mercer’s daughters, Rebeka and Jennifer. Nix was suspended as CEO of CA on March 20th after London’s ITN Channel 4 News aired video from a hidden camera in which he talked about manipulating elections with Ukrainian prostitutes and blackmail. It appears that the organization plans to start operating under a different name. At least for fans of Lumina’s Analytica, that’s great news!
In case you missed it, a scoop in the Observer (sister paper to the UK Guardian) and the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica misappropriated personal data from 50+ million Facebook users. The company is accused of using this data for “psychographic microtargeting” messages tailored to individual Facebook users for the Donald Trump presidential campaign, and other campaigns in the US and around the World. London-based Cambridge Analytica was founded in 2013, and financed with $15 million by hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, also a major donor to the Trump Campaign. Steven Bannon, Trump’s then campaign manager, was also a Vice President of the company. John Bolton, just appointed National Security Advisor by President Trump, was an early CA client. CA’s website says that their work for the John Bolton Super PAC included tailoring YouTube videos on national security issues to viewers’ psychographic profiles according to whether they were “highly agreeable” or “highly neurotic”. According to the NYT, Bolton knew that they were using Facebook data.