Data consulting firm Cambridge Analytica is shutting down in the wake of the Facebook data breach scandal that resulted in the lifting of personal data from up to 87 million Facebook users off the platform without their consent.
The United Kingdom-based company that collaborated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign made the decision to close its doors after many of its largest clients walked out — a result of accusations that it used leaked personal data to inform political campaigns. The firm violated Facebook’s policy in order to obtain knowledge from user accounts.
Cambridge Analytica released a statement Wednesday on its closure, and said it was “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.” Its parent company, SCL, will also shut down.
In early April, Cambridge Analytica denied having access to 87 million accounts in another statement. “Cambridge Analytica licensed data for no more than 30 million people,” the company said, in addition to reiterating that none of the information obtained informed the 2016 presidential campaign.
During a Congressional hearing on April 11, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his most recent of multiple apologies for the incident, stressing his dedication to consumer privacy.
“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent [Facebook’s] tools from being used for harm,” Zuckerberg said. “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
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