Cambridge Analytica, the data-gathering outfit that worked on President Trump’s campaign, announced Wednesday it was shutting down.
The political research firm had been slammed in recent months for its data-gathering operation, which critics said violated the privacy of 87 million Facebook users.
Fired CEO Alexander Nix was also recorded on a hidden camera suggesting the firm had bribed people for dirt on political candidates.
“Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica 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 said in a statement.
Cambridge Analytica hired investigator Julian Malins to probe the allegations of wrongdoing, and said Wednesday that he concluded there was no wrongdoing.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story, said legal fees were one reason for the firm’s collapse.
“Despite Cambridge Analytica’s unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully, which view is now fully supported by Mr. Malins’ report, the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers,” the firm said.
“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.”
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