Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy After Facebook-Linked Scandal


Cambridge Analytica - the political-analytics firm at the center of Facebook's recent user-data scandal - has officially filed for bankruptcy in the U.S.

Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the centre of this year's Facebook privacy row, filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a NY court late on Thursday.

The filings note an estimated number of creditors between 1-49, estimated assets of $100,001 - $500,000 and estimated liabilities of $1,000,001 - $10 million.

Christopher Wylie, the former director of research for Cambridge Analytica and its London-based affiliate company SCL Group, said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday that his company communicated with Russian firms and operatives that could have facilitated access to data from 87 million U.S. Facebook users.

Bannon, along with billionaire Robert Mercer, wanted to use the targeted advertisement technology as part of an "arsenal of weapons to fight a culture war", Wylie said Wednesday.

Cambridge Analytica, the beleaguered data collection agency that worked for Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, is liquidating existing operations.

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Facebook itself has also been sued dozens of times over the data breach, and if it loses suits, could be expected to turn to Cambridge Analytica for damages.

Cambridge Analytica, the data mining firm, which is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI, gained prominence when its dubious practice of harvesting and mining information on people to aid political campaigns globally came to light. The data was collected in 2013 by researcher Aleksandr Kogan via a Facebook personality quiz, which was able to harvest info on up to 300,000 users' friends; Kogan subsequently sold that data to Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook has scrambled to respond to the Cambridge Analytica blowback, which caught the company off guard and resulted in CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying in two USA congressional hearings.

Facebook said on Monday it has suspended around 200 apps in the first stage of its review into apps that had access to large quantities of user data before the company restricted data access.

Zuckerberg has appeared before United States congressional committees to testify on data privacy and will meet leaders of the European Parliament soon.