Cambridge Analytica Shuts Down Over Data Scandal Fallout

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The consultancy said negative publicity has made it impossible to continue doing business

Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy at the centre of a row over the alleged misuse of personal data on tens of thousands of people, is to shut down as a result of the scandal.

The firm said late on Wednesday it and its parent company, SCL Elections, had begun insolvency proceedings in the UK earlier in the day and would immediately cease operations.

The company said it would also begin bankruptcy proceedings for its US affiliate.

Cambridge Analytica is accused of improperly acquiring data on 87 million Facebook users and utilising it to try to influence the US presidential election campaign and Britain’s EU exit referendum.

data centre, facebookMedia circus ‘to blame’

The company has denied any wrongdoing, and on Wednedsay again called the allegations “unfounded”.

The methods it has been “vilified” for are not only “legal”, but “widely accepted”, the firm said.

But it said negative publicity around the affair has made it impossible to operate its business.

“The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers,” Cambridge Analytica said in a statement on its website. “As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business.”

Facebook said Cambridge Analytica’s closure does not affect its own investigation into the data scandal.

“We are continuing with our investigation in cooperation with the relevant authorities,” the company said in a statement.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg recently answered questions before the US Congress over the matter.

The company has, however, seen little practical fallout from the scandal, last week reporting  stronger-than-expected growth before  launching an online dating service this week.

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