On Wednesday, Cambridge Analytica said it and SCL Elections would be commencing insolvency proceedings after "numerous and unfounded" accusations, vilification, and "siege of media coverage" had "driven away virtually all of the company's customers and suppliers". In addition, Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer, the daughters of businessman Robert Mercer who created and funded Cambridge Analytica, are Emerdata directors. Cambridge Analytica says it bought the data from another company that was contractually required to comply with data protection rules and that none of the Facebook data was used in the Trump campaign.
Cambridge Analytica was created around 2013 initially with a focus on U.S. elections, with $15 million in backing from billionaire Republican donor Robert Mercer and a name chosen by future Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, the New York Times reported.
Per the Companies House filing, the staff includes Rebekah Mercer, the conservative donor, and daughter of billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer who listed her correspondence address as the NY office space of Cambridge Analytica.
"We will also monitor closely any successor companies using our powers to audit and inspect, to ensure the public is safeguarded", a spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner's Office said in a statement.
Cambridge Analytica has been accused of vacuuming data from Facebook users to try to influence the 2016 presidential race. Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself have been under rigorous investigation themselves, facing questions from United States senators. In a statement Wednesday, Cambridge Analytica insists it has done nothing wrong and has been "vilified" in the media.
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"Social media users don't expect to have their information given to third party developers without their knowledge", Shapiro said in a press release.
The company was able to amass the database quickly with the help of an app that appeared to be a personality test.
Revelations about the misuse of data, published in March by The New York Times and The Observer of London, plunged Facebook into crisis and prompted regulators and lawmakers to open investigations into Cambridge Analytica.
The data his firm used was reportedly gathered in early 2014 through an app called "thisisyourdigitallife", which was built by a Russian-American researcher at Cambridge University called Aleksandr Kogan.
The Indian government will continue with its enquiry into the Cambridge Analytica data leak issue, irrespective of the British firm announcing closure of business, senior IT Ministry officials said on Thursday.
Cambridge Analytica did not immediately respond to a request for comment. That very day Cambridge Analytica's former chief data officer Alexander Tayler replaced Nix as Emerdata's new director.