Cambridge Analytica is shutting down
- Cambridge Analytica, the data firm at the centre of Facebook's data privacy scandal, is shutting down.
- The firm has been losing clients and facing mounting legal fees, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- In addition to the Facebook controversy, the firm's CEO Alexander Nix was suspended in March after an undercover video showed him offering to bribe and entrap opponents.
Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the 2016 Trump campaign at the centre of a scandal involving the misuse of Facebook customer data, is shutting down its operations and declaring bankruptcy, the firm announced Wednesday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the closure, Cambridge Analytica was losing clients in the wake of the Facebook scandal and facing mounting legal fees related to the case. The company added that it has been besieged by negative media coverage, which has "driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers," it said in a press release.
The news would mark a stunning reversal for a firm that was once celebrated for pioneering a new tech-driven model for political campaigns to reach voters. As recently as Tuesday, CA was fiercely defending its reputation with tweets imploring the public to "get the facts" and the truth behind the Facebook story.
"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 company said in the release.
Earlier on Wednesday, the tech blog Gizmodo reported that Cambridge Analyitca was shutting down its US offices. But the WSJ report appears to indicate an overall shutdown.
The data firm has come under heavy scrutiny and sparked a global debate about data privacy for how it improperly obtained the personal data from 87 million Facebook users in order to serve targeted ads on behalf of the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
The firm is also under investigation in the U.K. for misconduct related to the Leave campaign ahead of the Brexit vote in 2016.
Additionally, Cambridge Analytica's CEO Alexander Nix was suspended in March after an undercover video released by British broadcaster Channel 4 showed him offering to bribe and entrap politicians with sex workers in order to land a new client.
Cambridge Analytica did not immediately return Business Insider's requests for comment.
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