Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm that was reported to have improperly obtained the data of up to 87 million Facebook users, is shutting down.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that both Cambridge Analytica and its parent company SCL Group were shutting down, citing SCL Group founder Nigel Oakes. However, a press release issued by Cambridge Analytica states that only Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections, another affiliate of SCL Group, are shutting down.
According to Gizmodo, SCL Group chairman Julian Wheatland broke the news to employees during a conference call, saying that efforts to pivot or rebrand the company would prove “futile.”
The press release issued by Cambridge Analytica stated that “over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations,” adding that “the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers. As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the Company into administration.”
Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group from the platform in mid-March, hours before British newspaper The Guardian published a report from a whistleblower detailing how Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained Facebook user data. A researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality app in 2014 called thisisyourdigitallife, which paid hundreds of thousands of users to take a personality quiz, in exchange for some of their Facebook data. At…