May 4, 2018

U.K. official: “We don’t mourn the loss of Cambridge Analytica”

Hancock arrives on Downing Street for a cabinet meeting. Photo: Eleanor Riley/Getty Images

A senior U.K. official today took a public swipe at Cambridge Analytica, the controversial data analytics firm that shut down yesterday, saying, "We don't mourn the loss."

Why it matters: The comment to Axios, from Matthew Hancock, U.K. secretary for digital, culture, media and sport, is powerful coming from a pro-tech, conservative member of the U.K. Parliament, and a champion of internet freedoms. The U.K. is investigating Cambridge for deceptive and potentially illegal data mining of user information via Facebook.

Hancock, in D.C. to talk about the environment for tech companies in the U.K., spoke to Axios at the U.K. Embassy this morning. He said ensuring that people’s privacy is protected is "vital to people having trust in the future of the internet and the big platforms."

"We thought that what we saw from Cambridge Analytica was outrageous."
— Hancock

Cambridge Analytica, which deceptively obtained the data of 87 million U.S. users to target them for election ads, is headquartered in the U.K., where privacy standards for personal data are much more strict than in the U.S.

Hancock says Cambridge's closure will not hinder the investigation:

"We're absolutely determined that the investigation into what happened will continue unhindered by the collapse of the company. And we wont stop at anything to get to the bottom to it."

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Gov. Tim Walz to mobilize Minnesota's full National Guard

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Saturday he is activating the full National Guard to respond to street violence in Minneapolis that broke out during protests of a police encounter that left a black man, George Floyd, dead.

Why it matters: This is the first time the state has activated the full National Guard since World War II. The Minnesota National Guard tweeted, "We are "all-in" to restore order and maintain and keep the peace in Minnesota." There are already around 700 National Guard troops in the city, and the order could bring another 1,000, The Star Tribune writes.

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At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

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