After more than four years of existence, Cambridge Analytica, the controversy-laden UK-based political consulting firm, has said goodbye. The reason is known to all, they sourced the data of over 87 million Facebook users through a third party.
In a press release published on Wednesday, the company said it is “no longer viable to continue operating the business” as “unfairly negative media coverage” has driven away “virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers”.
Cambridge Analytica, along with SCL Group, will terminate all of their operations in the UK and US. Earlier it was known that only SCL Elections Ltd, a subsidiary of SCL group affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, was shutting down.
It remains to be seen whether the company is out of business forever or it’s just a temporary pause after which it will emerge with a fresh identity. But things are not as simple as they appear.
According to a Gizmodo report, SCL Group’s chairman Julian Wheatland, who announced the news during a conference call, said the board determined that “rebranding” Cambridge Analytica in the current environment was “futile”.
On the other side of the story, a relatively new company exists in the name of Emerdata Limited, located in the same building as Cambridge Analytica. It was founded back in 2017 and has many ex-CA executives and investors. The company is believed to be the replacement.
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On the other hand, Facebook is trying to get over the dark days and rebuild their broken image. At the F8 conference, they launched a new Clear History feature to let people wipe off the details collected by apps and websites.