Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm in the center of the Facebook data-abuse scandal, has announced that it's shutting up shop.
In a statement published on its website, the firm has said that is will begin bankruptcy proceedings not only in the US, but also in the UK, where it operates as SCL Elections.
According to the statement, the media attention following accusations of improper data mining and the ensuing legal battles have lead to the company losing clients and money.
Innocent until proven guilty
Despite Facebook admitting that data from 87 million users was harvested for political analysis, Cambridge Analytica denies any wrongdoing, claiming it “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 firm believes that “its employees have acted ethically and lawfully” and blames the “siege of media coverage” for the loss of “virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers”, forcing Cambridge Analytica to go into administration.
Cambridge Analytica was founded in 2013 to focus on US elections and had the financial backing of prominent Republican donor Robert Mercer, who fed in US$15 million to help the Trump campaign.
Since its set up, the firm has provided consumer research and targeted advertising to political and corporate clients.
While Cambridge Analytica claims it is innocent, the company has promised to help investigations into the data-mining scandal.
The shutdown came into effect on Wednesday, May 2, and employees were asked to hand over all company laptops and other assets.