After the far-reaching scandal over mishandled Facebook user data, Cambridge Analytica is shutting down.
The news was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal. The company soon said in a press release that the affiliated United Kingdom-based company SCL Elections has filed for insolvency, and that bankruptcy proceedings will begin soon for Cambridge Analytica as well. The data analytics company’s United Kingdom-based parent organization, SCL Group, will also be shuttered, according to the Journal.
Cambridge Analytica, which gained fame by working on data analytics for the Trump presidential campaign, was engulfed by controversy after reports that it obtained data on millions of Facebook users through a seemingly innocuous personality test app. The revelation has triggered government hearings in both the United Kingdom and the United States and forced Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress. Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, resigned after further reporting showed him discussing the possibility of entrapping politicians for clients.
The overwhelmingly bad press generated by the news cycle appears to have been too much for the company. In today’s statement, it said, “The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers.”
In its statement, the company continued to defend itself in the face of controversy and said an internal investigation did not substantiate wrongdoing. “Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the Company’s efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas,” the statement said.