Scandal-hit Cambridge Analytica, a UK based political consultancy that worked for Donald Trump and several Indian political parties, on Wednesday announced that it was shutting down.
The firm, which was at the centre of the massive Facebook data breach, said that it will soon declare bankruptcy in the US and UK.
Cambridge Analytica allegedly mined data from Facebook in the voter research it conducted for President Donald Trump during the 2016 elections campaign.
The company, however, denied any wrongdoing, but said that the negative media coverage has left it with no clients and mounting legal fees which has forced it to resort to closure.
“Despite Cambridge Analytica’s unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully, the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers,” the company said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
The firm was accused of improperly obtaining personal information on behalf of political clients.
According to Facebook, data on up to 87 million of its users was harvested by an app and then passed on to the political consultancy.
The social network said its own probe into the matter would continue.
“This doesn’t change our commitment and determination to understand exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” a Cambridge Analytica (CA) spokesperson said.
The company said its parent company, SCL Elections, would also commence bankruptcy proceedings. This could impact its Indian operations as well.
The chair of a UK Parliament committee investigating the firm’s activities also raised concerns about CA and SCL Elections’ move to shut down.
“They are party to very serious investigations and those investigations cannot be impeded by the closure of these companies,” said MP Damian Collins.
(With inputs from agencies)