Cambridge Analytica to Shut Down its Operations

By CIO Review Team | Monday, 07 May 2018, 04:51 IST

Data research firm, Cambridge Analytica (CA) along with its British parent firm SCL Elections has announced that it will be shutting down all its offices worldwide due to the losses they are facing following the allegation of using the data of 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

The decision of closing company’s operation internationally was announced to employees at a meeting held in the firm’s New York branch. Recently appointed CEO of Cambridge Analytics, Julian Whiteland told employees that the company had tried every option to keep it going but it has reached its limits and is no longer moving forward.  Many employees of the New York office were asked to leave immediately with the details of compensation.  

SCL Elections and its counterparts including Cambridge Analytica will be filing for bankruptcy in the United States, according to the statement given by the CA US-based branch.  The statement states, “The controversies around the globe have led to our clients and supplier to boycott. As a result, the company is facing loss and it can no longer continue operating the business.”  

In March, the former director of research at Cambridge Analytica and the whistleblower, Christopher Wylie reported that Cambridge Analytica had hired a researcher, Aleksandra Kogan, to do psychological research on the American electorate profiles. Kogan built a personality quiz app that collected the data about the person whoever took it and sold that data to Cambridge Analytica to develop psychographic profiles of American voters, which was used during the election campaign of Donald Trump.

Christoper Wylie stated in an interview, “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles and built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on”.

Facebook was deeply damaged by this incident. After the news broke out, Facebook faced a huge loss in the share market as well as in political businesses. The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was asked to give testimony to the US senators regarding the data breach of 87 million FB users under his watch. People of the US are boycotting Facebook and organizing campaign with logo #deletefacebook.  

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that the investigation regarding the data breach will be taken place even after the shutting down of Cambridge Analytica and its parent firm. He told to BBC, “We have got to make sure this isn’t an attempt to run and hide, that these companies are not closing down to try to avoid them being rigorously investigated over the allegation that is being made against them. ” 

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