The former boss of disgraced consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica has been banned from running limited companies for seven years.
Alexander Nix, who led Cambridge Analytica until its collapse in 2018, will be disqualified from acting as a director or becoming involved – directly or indirectly – in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
The seven-year ban, which comes into effect on 5 October – comes after the Insolvency Service ruled Nix had offered potentially unethical services to prospective clients.
Nix was a director of SCL Elections, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that provided data analytics and marketing services to political clients.
Cambridge Analytica was embroiled in a scandal in 2018 after it emerged the company had been able to harvest data belonging to millions of Facebook users without their consent.
The firm has been accused of using this data to target votes in political campaigns, including the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election.
In a statement today the Insolvency Service said Nix had demonstrated a “lack of commercial probity”.
Specifically, it accused him of offering services including bribery or honey trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns.
“Following an extensive investigation, our conclusions were clear that SCL Elections had repeatedly offered shady political services to potential clients over a number of years,” said Mark Bruce, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service.
“Company directors should act with commercial probity and this means acting honestly and correctly. Alexander Nix’s actions did not meet the appropriate standard for a company director and his disqualification from managing limited companies for a significant amount of time is justified in the public interest.”
The directorship ban is the latest sanction to be handed down to former Cambridge Analytica directors in the wake of the scandal.
The US Federal Trade Commission has reached settlements with Nix and another Cambridge Analytica employee Aleksandr Kogan over its use of deceptive tactics to obtain data.
Facebook has also been fined $5bn in the US and £500,000 by the UK data watchdog over its role in the data breach.