London- Cambridge Analytica, the embattled data firm that worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and whose parent firm SCL helped Dr. Densil Douglas win the 2010 Federation election, announced it is shutting down operations.
“The Company is immediately ceasing all operations,” it said in a statement Wednesday, announcing bankruptcy proceedings would soon begin.
The company has come under fire over allegations it misused the personal Facebook data of millions.
The company has likewise struggled with the fallout of undercover recordings by Channel 4 News in the UK that showed executives at the firm discussing Cambridge Analytica’s efforts on behalf of the Trump campaign and the lengths to which they said they would be willing to go for prospective clients, including then-CEO Alexander Nix suggesting they would “send some girls around” in order to obtain compromising material on a hypothetical candidate.
According to the “Times of London” SCL worked on the successful 2010 campaign of the incumbent Prime Minister Douglas against opposition leader Lindsay Grant’s election bid.
As part of SCL’s efforts to win the race for Douglas, the firm reportedly mounted a sting operation against Grant at a Marriott hotel, where he was caught on video agreeing to sell land to a British buyer under market value in exchange for a $1.7 million donation to his campaign.
That video was shared widely online days before the election on YouTube, including over one channel the Times reports was run by SCL called “investigativerep1965.” That account is still active and contains just one video: the sting against Grant.
In its statement on Wednesday, the company stood by its actions, saying it maintains “unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully,” but that “the siege of media coverage” had driven away its 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 administration,” the statement read.
Controversy around Cambridge Analytica’s alleged misuse of Facebook data raised a host of new questions about the social media giant’s role in the public discourse and elections, and helped prompt renewed scrutiny in Washington, where last month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before committees in both houses of Congress.