Political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica announced last week that it was planning to cease its operations and file for bankruptcy. The announcement follows growing concerns of its business practices and its work during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The company offered tools and tests that could supposedly identify the personalities of American voters, and could also influence their behavior. These techniques were utilized for the Trump campaign as well as for other candidates in 2014 and 2016. Cambridge Analytica came under major scrutiny this year for its methods of profiling American voters and also because of allegations that it improperly gathered information from Facebook users. The company has also been subject of the special counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Besides working for the Trump presidential campaign, the company worked for the 2016 campaigns of Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, as well as a political action committee founded by John Bolton, the national security advisor.
Cambridge Analytia said that it had results of an independent investigation it commissioned. The company claimed that the results of the investigation challenged statements by its former employees about its gathering of data through Facebook. Despite of the report and Cambridge Analytica’s “unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully,” the company said that it is no longer viable to continue operating its business.
However, Cambridge Analytica said in a statement on its website that it has been subject to “numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the Company’s efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas.” Cambridge says it will be filing for bankruptcy in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
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Kathryn Davis is an attorney at the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University, and a Juris Doctorate from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. She is passionate about utilizing the bankruptcy process to help clients navigate through what is usually some of the lowest points in their lives. Read her full bio here.