U.K.-based data analytics company Cambridge Analytica has released a statement announcing that it has begun insolvency proceedings and is ceasing its operations in the U.K.
The company also said that it would soon cease the operations of its U.S. affiliates.
Cambridge Analytica claims that it has been the victim of “unfounded accusations” regarding its conduct, and that the “siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers.”
“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,” reads an excerpt from the company’s May 2nd, 2018 media release.
Cambridge Analytica has received widespread criticism for its involvement in a privacy breach that targeted approximately 87 million Facebook users — including approximately 622,000 Canadian users.
The data analytics company has repeatedly defended itself, claiming that its operations were conducted legally.
Reports from the Guardian and the New York Times, however, allege that Cambridge Analytica illegally utilized information provided by Cambridge University-affiliated researcher Aleksandr Kogan to create psychographic profiles on millions of Facebook users.
Kogan was able to gather the data through a Facebook quiz he created in 2013 that was able to harvest the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Facebook users and millions of their Facebook friends.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for his company’s role in the privacy breach, appearing before both the U.S. Congress and Senate to deliver testimony.
The company has since promised to improve its transparency and accountability, going so far as to streamline it mobile apps to better serve users.
The Menlo Park-based social networking giant has also released a tool that allows users to more easily manage their privacy settings, including a tool that enables users to disable third-party access to user Facebook accounts.
Facebook is currently under investigation by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada for its involvement in the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal.
Source: Cambridge Analytica