Cambridge Analytica, which has been embroiled in data privacy controversy, has shut down its operations along with its parents company SCL Elections Ltd with immediate effect. The company has claimed sharp drop in business and the company will begin its bankruptcy proceedings after losing clients and mounting legal fees. Cambridge Analytica has been accused of breaching privacy and harvesting personal data about millions of users from the social media giant Facebook.
Cambridge Analytica had managed US President Donald Trump’s and the Indian National Congress was also reportedly one of its clients.
The Congress party has been in denial mode over its alleged hiring of CA and the allegations of using voter’s personal data to expose social and demographical fault lines to strategise its poll campaign. But several shreds of evidence have emerged showing that it has been in business with the firm.
In a statement released by the company, ‘the damage caused to the business by the unfairly negative media coverage.’ It says that ‘the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers.’ which has rendered it unviable to continue the operations.
The company has shut down its operations with effect from Wednesday and the employees have been asked to return their computers.
The Congress has been in troubled waters since the scandal broke out. After alleging the BJP of a data leak, the official apps of the Indian National Congress and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiahdisappeared from the Play Store. It became apparent that a section of the media is trying to protect the Congress party but with the emergence of an image that showed the Congress party symbol adorning Cambridge Analytica’s office and now the document assessed by Open Magazine, Congress’ involvement with the disgraced firm is becoming harder to deny every day.
Interestingly, there are reports which suggest that Cambridge Analytica backers have set up a new data company, Emerdata. While it is unclear what it does, it was set up by the chairman and chief data officer of Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, and is headquartered in the same building in London’s Canary Wharf.