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Cambridge Analytica Shutting Down After Facebook Data Scandal It had come under immense scrutiny after a British daily report about it's misuse of millions of Facebook user data

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BRITISH DATA analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), which has been embroiled in Facebook data privacy scandal, and its parent company, SCL Elections, announced Wednesday that they will be ceasing all operations.

The company had come under immense scrutiny after British daily The Guardian and The Observer reported that it had illegally obtained the data of millions of Facebook users for targeted ad campaigns.

Soon after, former employee-turned-whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, came on record to furnish details of the operation.

According to the company statement, “the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers” and they had no “realistic alternative” but to take this step.

The data collected had been allegedly used to manipulate voting behaviour during the UK referendum and for Donal Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign.

Watch: Facebook-CA Data Scandal Explainer

 

CA was formed in 2013 and received a bulk of its investment from US hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. According to a Guardian report, Mercer invested $15 million in the firm. He is also a major donor to the Republican party.

CA is accused of stealing the data of close to 87 million Facebook users from 10 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and India. This has also led to investigations being initiated into Facebook’s role in the scandal.

Facebook acknowledged the breach and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg has promised a fix.

 

CA has filed applications for insolvency proceedings. It has also filed for bankruptcy.

“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,” Cambridge Analytica said.

The firm’s statement led many to speculate the outcome of the investigations into Cambridge Analytica’s activities. Damian Collins, chair of a UK parliament committee, wrote on Twitter, “Cambridge Analytica and SCL group cannot be allowed to delete their data history by closing. The investigations into their work are vital.”

Even though Cambridge Anayltica is shutting shop, it appears that its key players have moved on. A Business Insider investigation has found that the team behind the firm has already set up a new company called Emerdata.

Cambridge Analytica founder Alexander Nix, as well as Robert Mercer’s daughters, are listed as directors. Other former SCL Group executives are also part of the new firm.

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