UK-based data firm Cambridge Analytica has declared bankruptcy and is shutting down, amid claims that it illegally harvested data from more than 87 million Facebook profiles to target users with political ads. The app collected data on tens of millions of people and their Facebook friends.
Facebook has promised to tighten security and crack down on data-mining companies that access the social network. At one point, the sell-off wiped $50 billion off the company's market value.
Alexander Nix, the ex-chief of Cambridge Analytica, and Julian Wheatland were listed as directors of Emerdata but also as directors of some of the wider SCL Group of companies.
In early 2014 Kogan had been introduced to SCL Elections and in May of the same year formed the company Global Science Research (GSR) to create a data-licensing contract between itself and SCL Elections, an affiliate of Cambridge Analytica. "I'm leading a national investigation with my colleagues to ensure Pennsylvanians and Americans are protected from these kinds of unauthorized information sharing", Shapiro said. Cambridge Analytica did not respond to numerous requests for comment on this issue from The Washington Post last month.
Analytica, was appointed as a director in February, only for this to be terminated in April.
The report of an independent investigation released by Cambridge Analytica said that it was involved in several elections in India since 2010, but refuted allegations that it interfered in the poll process.
Absolutely not, say British authorities.
After the announcement, Britain's data regulator said it would continue civil and criminal investigations of the firm and will pursue "individuals and directors as appropriate" despite the shutdown.
In a statement on Wednesday, Facebook said: "This doesn't change our commitment and determination to understand exactly what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again". But, will this strategy work for the company? "Americans are currently helpless to stop the massive flows of their personal information now regularly fed to Google, Facebook, ISPs and many others".
It doesn't appear the closure would directly affect the parent company, SCL Group, making it more hard to get rid of evidence on insolvency grounds.
Embattled political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica announced that it will cease most operations and file for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for Mr Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Former Cambridge Analytica employees have said that this work was done nearly entirely in London, by people employed by the British-based SCL Group, and that some of these foreigners went to work directly on USA campaigns. They, however, declined to divulge further details in the matter, saying that both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have time till May 10 to send written responses to official questioning.
Collins also said there was no precedent for a senior executive refusing a summons, adding that even Rupert and James Murdoch chose to appear during an investigation into phone hacking.
The controversy has triggered a groundswell of criticism, investigations into both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook around the world, multiple hearings in the U.S. Congress and the potential for fines and other penalties.