Since the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted seven weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has been the epitome of contrition. The same cannot be said of the British election consultancy, which last night announced it was shutting down.
Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Donald Trump's election campaign, blamed a “siege of media coverage” for the legal claims and lost clients that mean the company could no longer continue.
But if this is the end of Cambridge Analytica, it is far from the end of the story.
Britain’s data watchdog said its investigation into the company will continue; meanwhile, executives appear to have already moved to create a new firm.
'NO LONGER VIABLE'
Cambridge Analytica has faced a series of damaging allegations in recent weeks, of which the claim that it obtained the private information of up to 87m Facebook users was only one.
It said an independent report from the lawyer Julian Malins had found that recent allegations were “not borne out by the facts”, but that news reports meant it had lost clients. The company had been banned from advertising on Facebook and Twitter in recent weeks, blocking a lot of its potential work.
THE SAGA CONTINUES
Despite shutting down, Cambridge Analytica may well live on in some form. Company filings show that several executives have created a new firm called Emerdata, a potential rehousing of the company under a new name.
Meanwhile, investigations into the company will continue.
Damian Collins, the MP in charge of the committee investigating Cambridge Analytica among others, last night said the company should not be allowed to delete its data.
The Information Commissioner’s Office says its investigation will continue to pursue “individuals and directors”. Cambridge Analytica is down, but its story seems far from finished