NBC News reported on the announcement by the parent company of Cambridge Analytica announcing that Cambridge Analytica would shut down following extensive media coverage that alienated its customers. The company came into the spotlight in recent months following the controversy over the collection of various Facebook users’ information to target political ads to users during the 2016 presidential campaign. The controversy came to a head when Facebook ultimately admitted that approximately 87 million users’ information “may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.”
The firm was funded by Republican billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer. Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was also involved in launching the company. Despite the announcement to shutter Cambridge Analytica, some papers filed with British government demonstrate that the company may be preparing to make a new data firm with a new name.
As recently as Tuesday Cambridge Analytica continued defending itself on social media against one of the whistleblowers Christopher Wylie. Cambridge Analytica said Mr. Wylie was “rebrand[ing] himself following his failure in the industry.” The firm also defended itself against accusations of using various methods to entrap politicians despite the former CEO Alexander Nix being caught on hidden camera saying the company could potentially use “honeypots” or sex workers to entrap politicians.
The announcement follows Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg appearing before Congress last month to testify regarding the data privacy problems.
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