British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) has decided to close its operations in the U.K. and the U.S. and file for bankruptcy after suffering a huge loss of reputation from the Facebook (FB) data scandal. The firm claimed that the infamy resulting from the extensive media coverage of the incident has alienated all its customers and suppliers making it difficult to continue doing business.
After allegations emerged that Cambridge Analytica misused the data of around 87 million Facebook users to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and Brexit, both firms found themselves in a political quagmire. Cambridge Analytica’s London offices were raided with the enquiry moving on to Facebook along with several other companies.
Cambridge Analytica maintains that it followed all the standard rules applicable to its business and that it had deleted any data obtained through unethical means. However, the effect of the scandal on the business was too huge for it to survive any longer.
British investigators said they would continue their investigations against Cambridge Analytica and keep an eye on any successor companies that follow it. Former CA executives are said to have formed a new data company called Emerdata. There are also calls for a criminal investigation into the entire incident to avoid any loopholes.
It is not clear as to what will happen to the data collected by CA but it is unlikely that the company will be allowed to do away with it, especially in the U.S. where it is illegal to erase records in a bankruptcy filing.
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