In a not very surprising move, the firm behind the latest Facebook data hack has been shut down. That is right, one of the most hated companies of this year has officially closed their doors.
Cambridge Analytica was accused of improperly obtaining personal information on behalf of political clients.
According to Facebook, data about up to 87 million of its members was harvested by a quiz app and then passed on to the political consultancy.
Facebook has said that even though the firm has shut down, they would continue their probe into the firm’s actions until the problem is resolved.
Accusations against Cambridge Analytica
There are some serious accusations against the firm, with several countries considering legal action.
The company has been accused of using the personal data of millions of Facebook users to sway the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election and the UK Brexit referendum.
In March, Channel 4 aired undercover footage of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, giving examples of how the firm could swing elections around the world with underhand tactics such as smear campaigns and honey traps.
The UK-based company, which denies any wrongdoing, has an extensive record of working abroad on many election campaigns, including in Italy, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Timing of shutdown
Some people were confused as to why the company was shutting down right now. They were thinking the firm would use the shutdown as an excuse to delete all their data and get away without any legal action!
Cambridge Analytica and SCL group cannot be allowed to delete their data history by closing. The investigations into their work are vital
— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) May 2, 2018
Remember. SCL & Cambridge Analytica are disinformation specialists. What exactly are they shutting down & why? https://t.co/KKsBYkCCTz
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) May 2, 2018
17 March: The Observer and the New York Times publish accounts by Cambridge Analytica’s ex-employee Christopher Wylie, saying 50 million Facebook accounts were improperly harvested by the company
23 March: The UK’s data watchdog is granted a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s office
27 March: Christopher Wylie appears in front of a committee of UK MPs
4 April: Facebook says it now believes up to 87 million people’s data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica
10 April: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is questioned by US lawmakers about the scandal
17 April: Alexander Nix, the former boss of Cambridge Analytica, refuses to appear before British MPs
26 April: The UK parliamentary committee threatens to issue Mark Zuckerberg with a “formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK” as questions remain unanswered
2 May: Cambridge Analytica announces its closure
What do you think? Should Cambridge Analytica be forced to stay open until Facebook’s probe is complete? Let us know in the comments below!