After becoming the center of a scandal that led to a federal inquiry, Cambridge Analytica and its UK counterpart SCL Elections are closing and filing for bankruptcy. Employees received word today the company was closing, effective immediately.
Cambridge Analytica and its UK counterpart called employees and released a statement today confirming the company was “immediately ceasing all operations” after having been “the subject of numerous unfounded accusations.”
It wasn’t a crisis of conscience that brought about the company closure, though. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company had been bleeding clients in recent months. The company’s press release implied it was due to the unrelenting scrutiny it suddenly faced following the revelations with Facebook:
Despite Cambridge Analytica’s unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully … the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers. As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business…
While Facebook has received the brunt of the criticism following the revelations about its data privacy leaks earlier this year, CA hasn’t escaped similar scrutiny. In March, the company’s CEO, Alexander Nix, was caught on camera discussing potential bribery and entrapment. While he was promptly suspended and the company apparently in the process of an independent investigation, it wasn’t enough to bring back the clientele.
Gizmodo obtained screenshots of company communications that imply the employees were expecting the decision. One employee put together a bleak playlist before they received the call, including “Help!” by the Beatles, and “The End,” by The Doors. (Personally, I’d have included “It’s All Over But the Crying.”) Another posted a still from Titanic showing the band playing as the ship sank — which, considering it involves humble individuals getting screwed over by the hubris of those running an enterprise thought heretofore “unsinkable,” feels particularly harsh.
h/t The Verge
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