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Cambridge Analytica to close, says it does what all online ad firms do

03 May 2018  |  David Pidgeon 
Cambridge Analytica to close, says it does what all online ad firms do

The company at the heart of the Facebook data breach scandal has announced it is closing down.

Cambridge Analytica, which stands accused of improperly harvesting the personal Facebook data of 50 million Americans and around a million Britons on behalf of political clients, confirmed on Wednesday (2 May) it will start insolvency proceedings.

Although the firm denies any wrongdoing, the extensive media coverage of the scandal has seen clients and suppliers flee the business and legal costs rise.

In a statement, the company said it had been the subject of numerous "unfounded accusations", adding that despite its best efforts to correct the record, it 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."

According to Facebook, the data from millions of its users was harvested by a personality quiz app and then passed on to Cambridge Analytica, allowing it - according to a whistle-blower - to target political ads and swing the US election and the Brexit vote.

An investigation into the matter is ongoing, but Facebook has already changed many of its policies regarding user data as a result.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is also investigating and will continue to pursue “individuals and directors”.

The statement provided by Cambridge Analytica added that parent company SCL Elections was also set to start bankruptcy proceedings.

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01 Jul 2020 

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