Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm at the centre of a storm around misuse of Facebook user data, is shutting down and has filed for bankruptcy.
The Company has filed applications to begin insolvency proceedings in the UK, Cambridge Analytica said in a statement.
The statement also pushed back against widespread allegations that the company had improperly obtained Facebook user data to craft targeted advertisements, saying 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 company, which was retained by Donald Trump's presidential campaign, has come under tremendous pressure after it was revealed to have obtained data associated with up to 87 million Facebook users.
Seeking to contain a crisis, Facebook executives have repeatedly faulted Cambridge Analytica and researcher Aleksander Kogan for the data transfer.
Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica soon after reports revealed the consulting firm had obtained a vast repository of user data.
Political scrutiny of Cambridge Analytica spread to both sides of the Atlantic, with whistleblower Christopher Wylie alleging that a Canadian business tied to Cambridge Analytica’s parent company SCL Group, AggregateIQ, worked for the official pro-Brexit campaign.
UK politicians have published documents showing that Cambridge Analytica had a tentative agreement to work with pro-Brexit group Leave.EU, and a former Cambridge Analytica employee said that the company had partnered with the campaign.