Cambridge Analytica is done. In light of the sprawling controversy around its role in improperly obtaining data from Facebook users through a third party, the company will end its US and UK operations.
In a press release confirming the decision, the company said that bad press around the Facebook incident has “driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers,” making its business no longer financially viable. The same goes for the SCL Group, Cambridge Analytica’s UK-based affiliate and parent company:
“Earlier today, SCL Elections Ltd., as well as certain of its and Cambridge Analytica LLC’s U.K. affiliates (collectively, the “Company” or “Cambridge Analytica”) filed applications to commence insolvency proceedings in the U.K. The Company is immediately ceasing all operations…
Additionally, parallel bankruptcy proceedings will soon be commenced on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and certain of the Company’s U.S. affiliates in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
On Wednesday, just before the company went public with its news, Gizmodo reported that employees of Cambridge Analytica’s U.S. offices learned that their jobs were being terminated when they were ordered to hand over their company keycards.
Given the company’s already fairly shadowy business practices, if this is really the end for Cambridge Analytica or just a strategic rebrand to deal with what it calls a “siege” of unwarranted negative media coverage remains to be seen.