Data firm at center of Facebook privacy scandal will close

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(Officials in New Jersey have not yet said how many residents were affected).

"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. Media reports suggest that the firm could re-emerge under a new name.

North Carolina's Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint over work performed by Cambridge Analytica for the campaign of Republican U.S. Sen.

The UK-based data analytics and political consulting firm has been under fire in various countries for allegedly harvesting data from nearly 87 million Facebook users and leveraging them for political campaigns. It announced Wednesday that it's closing down because of what it considers vilification in the media.

Cambridge Analytica's board has also applied to appoint insolvency practitioners Crowe Clark Whitehill to act as the independent administrator. The firm has said it is committed to helping the United Kingdom investigation into Facebook and how it uses data.

"The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company's customers and suppliers", the statement said.

In 2016, Prince was also the second-largest donor to Make America Number 1 - a super PAC founded by the Mercer family (of the Donald Trump-supporting billionaire Robert Mercer, who funneled $10 million to Cambridge Analytica), ran by the former Trump campaign CEO and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon along with Kellyanne Conway.

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.

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Facebook's policies allowed third parities including Cambridge Analytica to access the personal information of users who engaged with certain applications without consent.

The company was able to amass the database quickly with the help of an app that appeared to be a personality test.

It collected information on tens of millions of people and their Facebook friends, even those who did not download the app themselves.

"People aren't expecting to trade their privacy for a Facebook page", said Stein.

Cambridge Analytica always denied wrongdoing and Mr Trump's campaign has said it did not use its data.

In recent months, executives at Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group have moved to create a new firm, Emerdata, based in Britain, according to British records.

The Wall Street Journal says Wednesday's shutdown comes as the firm is losing clients and facing legal fees from the Facebook case.

However, Cambridge Analytica abused Facebook's system and gathered the data of over 87 million people in total.