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Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group shutting down

Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica used people’s Facebook data for political campaigning

Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy at the centre of the Facebook data-sharing scandal, is shutting down. The data analytics company’s parent organisation, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL Group), will also be closed.

The company confirmed this in a press release, which said SCL Group has filed for insolvency in the US and the UK, and that bankruptcy proceedings will soon begin for Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica was accused of improperly obtaining personal information on behalf of political clients, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Brexit campaign.

Cambridge Analytica denied any wrongdoing, but said that the negative media coverage has left it with no clients and mounting legal fees.

It was engulfed by controversy after reports that it obtained data on millions of Facebook users through a seemingly innocuous personality test app.

According to Facebook, data about up to 87 million of its members was harvested and then passed onto the political consultancy.

The social network said its own probe into the matter would continue.

Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, resigned after a secret recording by Channel 4 News showed him discussing the possibility of entrapping politicians for clients.

On Tuesday, British MP Ben Bradshaw raised the question on whether there are any links between Henley and Partners and Cambridge Analytica “that have been allegedly involved in helping with political campaigns including that of the recently elected government in Malta”.

In April, the British Labour MP claimed that murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was investigating Cambridge Analytica which he said is linked to the company which plays a leading role in the sale of Maltese citizenship to the global rich, Henley and Partners.

“She was also investigating Cambridge Analytica and Henley and Partners. Henley and Partners is a company that sells citizenship in Malta,” Bradshaw said during a debate in the House of Commons on the EU referendum and alleged breaches of electoral law.

British political magazine The Spectator also linked the two companies and in an article entitled ‘Revealed: Cambridge Analytica and the passport king’ said that Nix and the chairman of Henley and Partners, Christian Kalin collaborated in a number of electoral campaigns in the Caribbean.

The magazine said it has seen documents that offer “startling insights” into Kalin’s activities and his links to Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Group.

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