Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy at the heart of the Facebook data harvesting scandal revealed by Channel 4 News, have announced that they, along with their parent company, SCL Elections, are ceasing their global operations tonight.
The firm was brought under the world’s media spotlight after this programme uncovered the range of services it appeared to offer to an undercover reporter from Channel 4 News – from honey-traps to using bribes, ex-spies and fake IDs.
The firm has also been under pressure since an investigation by Channel 4 News, the Observer and New York Times revealed that the firm had acquired the data of tens of millions of Facebook users.
Today, Cambridge Analytica issued a statement saying: “Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the Company’s efforts to correct the record, has been 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.
“In light of those accusations, noted Queen’s Counsel Julian Malins was retained to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations regarding the Company’s political activities. Mr. Malin’s report, which the Company posted on its website today, concluded that the allegations
were not ‘borne out by the facts’.”
Watch all of Channel 4 News’ reports: Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks
Speaking to our undercover reporter, the company’s CEO Alexander Nix boasted about Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign:
“We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting, we ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign, and our data informed all the strategy.”