Cambridge Analytica said Tuesday it has suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending an independent investigation into comments he made to an undercover reporter that were secretly recorded.
Travel booking site Orbitz said Tuesday that a possible security breach it discovered earlier this month may have exposed information tied to about 880,000 payment cards.
Andrew Nix, the CEO of the London-based voter profiling company Cambridge Analytica — which harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission to analyze their voter behavior — has been suspended from his job. In an announcement posted to the company’s site, the board said the suspension was effective immediately.
YouTube’s video ad creation service aimed at helping small business reach YouTube viewers is now available more broadly across the U.S. The company announced this morning that YouTube Director onsite, as the service is called, is now live in over 170 U.S. cities, up from only 9 previously – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, Tampa and Seattle.
company’s role in a widening international scandal over the 2016 election
LONDON (AP) — A British parliamentary committee on Tuesday summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions as authorities stepped up efforts to determine if the personal data of social media users has been used improperly to influence elections.The request comes amid allegations that a data mining firm based in the U.K used information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. The company, Cambridge Analytica, has denied wrongdoing.However, the firm’s board of directions announced Tuesday evening that it had suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending an independent investigation of his actions. Nix made comments to an undercover reporter for Britain’s Channel 4 News about various unsavory services Cambridge Analytica provided its clients.“In the view of the board, Mr. Nix’s recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation,” the board said in a statement posted on the firm’s website.Facebook also drew continued criticism for its alleged inaction to protect users’ privacy. Earlier Tuesday, the chairman of the U.K. parliamentary media committee, Damian Collins, said his group has repeatedly asked Facebook how it uses data and that Facebook officials “have been misleading to the committee.”“It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process,” Collins wrote in a note addressed directly to Zuckerberg. “Given your commitment at the start of the New Year to ‘fixing’ Facebook, I hope that this representative will be you.”The request to appear comes as Britain’s information commissioner said she was using all her legal powers to investigate the social media giant and Cambridge Analytica over the alleged misuse of data.Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s servers. She has also asked Facebook to cease in its efforts to pursue its own audit of Cambridge Analytica’s data use.“Our advice to Facebook is to back away and let us go in and do our work,” she said.Cambridge Analytica said it is committed to helping the U.K. investigation. However, Denham gave the firm a deadline to produce the information she requested – and it failed to meet it, her office said.Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way, adding that the data provisions act requires platforms like Facebook to have strong safeguards against misuse of data.Chris Wylie, who once worked for Cambridge Analytica, was quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories.The firm found itself in further allegations of wrongdoing. Britain’s Channel 4 used an undercover investigation to record Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive, Alexander Nix, saying that the company could use unorthodox methods to wage successful political campaigns for clients.He said the company could “send some girls” around to a rival candidate’s house, suggesting that girls from Ukraine are beautiful and effective in this role.He also said the company could “offer a large amount of money” to a rival candidate and have the whole exchange recorded so it could be posted on the internet to show that the candidate was corrupt.Nix says in a statement on the company’s website that he deeply regrets his role in the meeting and has apologized to staff.“I am aware how this looks, but it is simply not the case,” he said. “I must emphatically state that Cambridge Analytica does not condone or engage in entrapment, bribes or so-called ‘honeytraps’, and nor does it use untrue material for any purposes.”Nix told the BBC the Channel 4 sting was “intended to embarrass us”.“We see this as a coordinated attack by the media that’s been going on for very, very many months in order to damage the company that had some involvement with the election of Donald Trump,” he said.The data harvesting used by Cambridge Analytica has also triggered calls for further investigation from the European Union, as well as federal and state officials in the United States.
A pro-Trump super PAC funded by the billionaire Mercer family used Cambridge Analytica to help it generate millions of views for dark posted Facebook ads that aggressively attacked Hillary Clinton during the fall of 2016.
The oil and gas sector in the Middle East has become a top target for cybercriminals, enduring 50 percent of all cyber-attacks in the region, revealed a new report.The study, conducted by industrial giant Siemens and the Ponemon Institute, polled around 200 individuals in the Middle East responsible for securing or overseeing cyber risk in oil and gas companies.According to the report, three in four respondents said their organization had suffered at least one security compromise that resulted in the loss of confidential information or disruption to operations in the OT environment over the past 12 months.Meanwhile, 11 percent reported that they had experienced more than 10 cyber breaches in their OT environments – a rate three times the global average, the report noted. Even so, such numbers likely under-report the true figures, with nearly half of respondents admitting they may not be aware of all breaches.Furthermore, 60 percent of respondents believe they face a greater risk in the OT than the IT environment. Similarly, 67 percent believe the risk level to industrial control systems over the past few years has substantially increased because of cyber threats.“The convergence of IT and OT has become a key opportunity for attackers to infiltrate an organization’s critical infrastructure, disrupting physical devices or operational processes,” said Leo Simonovich, Vice President and Global Head, Industrial Cyber at Siemens Energy, in a press release.“We know that attacks are becoming more frequent and increasingly sophisticated, and firms quickly need to assign dedicated ownership of OT cyber, gain visibility into their assets, demand purpose-built solutions and partner with experts who have real domain expertise,” Simonovich said.Companies are aware of the rising cyber risks, yet few are prepared to address them. Less than half of respondents said they continually monitor all infrastructure to prioritize threats and attacks. Additionally, oil and gas companies in the Middle East today allocate only a third, on average, of their total cybersecurity budget to securing their OT environment.Although more companies are investing in resources to strengthen their defenses, such as hiring qualified staff, Siemens argues “the next step in this OT cybersecurity journey will require a more holistic strategy.”“Organizations that adopt both a risk-based and compliance-based approach to their OT security programs will be those who close the cyber readiness gap soonest,” the report concluded.
A lawsuit, filed today in California’s Northern District, alleges that Uber denied service to a Texas woman with cerebral palsy “on approximately 25 separate occasions” in 2016 and 2017.