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Cambridge Analytica shutting down, company says


Cambridge Analytica, the marketing research company at the heart of the Facebook data breach, is shutting down, the company said.

"Earlier today, SCL Elections, as well as certain of its and Cambridge Analytica LLC’s U.K. affiliates filed applications to commence insolvency proceedings in the U.K.," the company said in a press release. "The Company is immediately ceasing all operations and the boards have applied to appoint insolvency practitioners Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP to act as the independent administrator for Cambridge Analytica."

News of the shuttering was first reported by Gizmodo and The Wall Street Journal.  


Julian Wheatland, SCL Group's chairman and the man who was supposed to become the next full-time CEO of Cambridge Analytica after former CEO Alexander Nix stepped, led the conference call with employees to discuss the news.

Cambridge Analytica denied the accusations levied against it by Facebook and others, but said it could not correct the "unfounded accusations," even as it hired Queen's Counsel Julian Malins to conduct an independent investigation into the company's practices surrounding its political activities.

"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 company added in the release. "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."

Reports emerged in recent months that Cambridge Analytica had improperly used information from as many as 87 million accounts on the social network, prompting Facebook to suspend the U.K.-based company. Cambridge Analytica, which has ties to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign, denies any wrongdoing.

Most of the affected users are in the U.S., Facebook has previously said.

Earlier this week, Twitter said it sold data to GSR, former Cambridge Analytica employee's Aleksandr Kogan business, giving GSR one-time access to its API (application programming interface) to a random sample of public tweets posted between December 2014 and April 2015.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Twitter said:

"Twitter has also made the policy decision to off-board advertising from all accounts owned and operated by Cambridge Analytica. This decision is based on our determination that Cambridge Analytica operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices. Cambridge Analytica may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules."

Following the reports, Cambridge Analytica said that the data that Kogan purchased was never used by Cambridge.

"Cambridge Analytica has never received Twitter data from GSR or Aleksandr Kogan, and has never done any work with GSR on Twitter data," the company tweeted on April 30. "GSR was only ever a contractor to Cambridge Analytica and we understand it did work for many other companies."

Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this reportFollow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia