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Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy after Facebook scandal

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UPDATE: Although Cambridge Analytica, as a company, has closed its doors in the UK and the US, there are indications that the company may have been rebranded as Emerdata Limited. It's currently registered in the UK as an active company located at the same premises as SLC Elections and run by the same management, dealing with "data processing, hosting and related activities".

Our original story continues below:

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 (opens in new tab), 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.

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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.

Analyze that

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.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.