Cambridge Analytica Files For Bankruptcy, Blames Unfounded Facebook Accusations

The name Cambridge Analytica has become synonymous with the illicit use of Facebook user data over the last few months. Facebook originally claimed that Cambridge had exploited the data of 50 million users during the last U.S. Presidential election. The social giant came back later and said that Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed data on 87 million Facebook users. The privacy fiasco resulted in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg having to testify in front of Congress.

cambridge analytica ceo
Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix speaking in November 2017

The fallout from the privacy debacle is now forcing Cambridge Analytica to close up shop. The company has announced in the U.K. that SCL Elections Ltd. as well as Cambridge Analytica along with certain of Cambridge Analytica's U.K. affiliates will be commencing insolvency proceedings. Cambridge Analytica and certain U.S. affiliates of the company will also be commencing bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. via the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Cambridge Analytica says that over the last several months it has been the subject of "numerous unfounded accusations." The company also states that despite its efforts to correct the record that it 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."

Cambridge Analytica says that it hired noted Queen's Counsel Julian Malins to conduct an independent investigation into allegations surrounding the firm's political activities. That independent report shows that the allegations against Cambridge Analytica weren't "borne out by the facts" notes the company.

The conclusion of the report penned by Malins states, "I had full access to all members of staff and documents in the preparation of my report. My findings entirely reflect the amazement of the staff, on watching the television programmes and reading the sensationalistic reporting, that any of these media outlets could have been talking about the company for which they worked. Nothing of what they heard or read resonated with what they actually did for a living."

The company has "unwavering confidence" that its staff acted ethically and lawfully, with the investigation by Malins concluding the same thing. Cambridge Analytica says that despite the results of the investigation "the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers."

As a result, the company is no longer viable and can’t continue operations. All Cambridge Analytica employees will lose their jobs as a result of the bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. and the U.K. Despite the financial hardships the company is facing, it says that it will meet all obligations to its employees including respecting notice periods, severance terms, and redundancy entitlements.

Photo by Sam Barnes/Web Summit via Sportsfile