Cambridge Analytica, the UK-based data mining company that accessed hordes of user information from Facebook, said it had shut down due to a loss of business.
The company said in a statement it had started insolvency proceedings and was immediately ceasing all operations, after being the subject of “numerous unfounded accusations” over the past several months.
However, The Register reported that its shutdown could be short-lived and the company will relaunch under the name Emerdata. Citing documents it had seen from the UK’s official registrar of businesses and organisations, The Register said a company called Emerdata was headquartered at the same offices as Cambridge Analytica and is run by “much of the same management and investors as Cambridge Analytica”.
Cambridge Analytica was at the centre of a data-sharing scandal which rocked Facebook. The social media giant improperly shared information from up to 87 million of its users with the data mining company, which was allegedly used for political gain.
Cambridge Analytica has strenuously denied the claims.
As a result of the scandal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced questioning from the US government, and the company is facing probes from the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission.
Cambridge Analytica is also facing its own probes, and BBC reported that the investigations will continue despite the company’s closure.
An independent investigation conducted by Queen’s Counsel Julian Malins into the company’s political activity found that the allegations were not “borne out by the facts”, added the company in its statement.
But, “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 adminisitation.”
SCL Elections has also started insolvency proceedings.