After the scandal involving the breach of Facebook users’ privacy and its role in the 2016 U.S elections, Cambridge Analytica and its British parent, SCL Elections announced on Wednesday that they are shutting down due to lack of patronage and a huge loss in clientage.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the shut down is effective as of Wednesday, and all employees have been told to turn in their computers.
The company and its US-based affiliates are set to begin filing for bankruptcy due to dwindling patronage and increasing legal charges from the controversy involving infringement of Facebook users’ privacy and misuse of their personal data. According to the firm,
“The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers. As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the company into administration.”
In spite of these accusations, Cambridge Analytica in a statement maintains that it is innocent of any illegal activities or wrongdoings. “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.
In March, Cambridge Analytica began an independent investigation to find out if it actually engaged in any illegal activities, this came after suspending its chief executive, Alexander Nix. The report of the investigation fully supported its claim of no wrongdoings. According to their statement,
“Cambridge Analytica maintains unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully.”
Despite the shutdown, Britain’s data regulator said it will continue its ongoing investigation on the firm and bring to book all individuals and directors involved in the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal.
“We will also monitor closely any successor companies using our powers to audit and inspect, to ensure the public is safeguarded,” as stated by a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office.