Cambridge Analytica files for insolvency amid growing public concern over online privacy
Cambridge Analytica has filed insolvency proceedings just weeks after it was embroiled at the center of a political scandal involving Facebook's data protection policies, the 2016 US general election of President Trump and the ethics of online advertising.
The company claims its practices were a "widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising"
A statement on the company website has confirmed it has ceased all operations effective immediately, and that it will appoint insolvency practitioners Crowe Clark Whitehill to act as the independent administrator.
Additionally, it will file bankruptcy proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court in New York meaning the closure of its offices in New York City, and Washington, DC.
The statement goes on to label the public vilification it has faced since a joint Guardian and Channel 4 exposé in March as based on "unfounded accusations," claiming their activities are not only legal but also "widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising."
The statement further cites Queen’s Counsel Julian Malins, appointed to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations, appearing to absolve Cambridge Analytica staff of any wrongdoing.
Cambridge Analytica's statement later goes on to characterize the subsequent weeks as "a siege of media coverage" that has since led to "virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers" distancing themselves from the political research outfit. "As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business."
UK-headquartered Cambridge Analytica was reported as exploiting earlier Facebook data vulnerabilities, which have since been plugged, and then used the information to influence the 2016 US Presidential election on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign.
The resulting public discourse has seen furor from many quarters with politicians on both sides of the Atlantic rounding on all parties involved in the allegations with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg earlier facing two inquisitions from the US lawmakers as a result.
Since the investigations were made public advertisers have been keen to distance themselves from such activity, with several high profile characters since joining the #DeleteFacebook campaign. Additionally, Facebook is taking unparalleled measures to assure the public about any concerns they may have over how their data is used.
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Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm which combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process. It was started in 2013 as an offshoot of the SCL Group.The company is partly owned by the family of Robert Mercer, an American hedge-fund manager who supports many politically conservative causes.Find out more