The company recently embroiled in a data scandal involving Facebook, Brexit and the 2016 US presidential election, has filed for insolvency.
Cambridge Analytica released a statement on its website saying that with immediate effect all operations had stopped and an independent administrator had been appointed. Bankruptcy proceedings were also being initiated.
The company continued to stress that its activities had been both legal and “widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising”. This was despite what it claims were “unfounded accusations” levelled at it following an investigation by Channel 4 and the Guardian newspaper.
The insolvency statement went on to blame the resulting adverse media coverage as being responsible for the loss of its customers and suppliers, saying: “As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business.”
The consultancy firm had been accused of exploiting vulnerabilities to acquire the data of up to 87 million Facebook users. It was alleged that Cambridge Analytica had then employed this data to influence political campaigns.
Despite the insolvency, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said the investigation into the company it is currently undertaking will continue.
This is backed by the chair of the Commons select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) who has said: “Cambridge Analytica and [parent company] SCL Group cannot be allowed to delete their data history by closing. The investigations into their work are vital.”
He added: “We’ve got to make sure this isn’t an attempt to run and hide, that these companies are not closing down to try to avoid them being rigorously investigated over the allegations that are being made against them.”
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