Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm involved in a controversy over misusing millions of Facebook users' data is shutting down immediately. Along with Cambridge Analytica, its British parent company SCL Elections will also be shutting down. The company on its website claimed it is because of suffering a sharp drop in business.
The company will simultaneously begin bankruptcy proceedings, it further added.
“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 company said in the release.
Further quoting the results of independent report to prove the company and the employees were not involved in any unlawful activities and blaming negative media for the shut down.
“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. 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,” the company further added.
The company however, clarified that it would be paying its employees dues including the notice period.
Is shutting down a solution?
However, the bigger question here is whether shutting down the company even before they are proven guilty. Sunil Abraham, Director of the Center for Internet and Society India calls it as a regulatory Whack-a-mole by the company.
“There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered here. First of all no one knows whether the data bases have been deleted, just because the company shut down, it does not mean the problem is over. Someone might still have the database,” said Abraham.
There are issues with Facebook as well he adds. “ Facebook still wont tell us if there are other companies like Cambridge Analytica. Facebook does a lot of gathering on the users, but claims it does not know what companies are doing with the data. Facebook should answer all the questions at the same time analytica should tell us what has happened to the data. Also if they have violated any laws they should be paying a fine for it before they shut down,” Abraham added.
after losing clients and facing mounting legal fees resulting from the scandal over reports the company harvested personal data about millions of Facebook users beginning in 2014.
"The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company's customers and suppliers," the statement said.