MAY 2, 2018
Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, is shutting down following disclosures about its use of Facebook data and the campaign tactics it pitched to clients.
In March, the company suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, and said it was launching an independent investigation to determine if the company engaged in any wrongdoing in its work on political campaigns.
Nigel Oakes, the founder of SCL Group, Cambridge Analytica’s British affiliate, confirmed that both companies were closing down.
The company decided to close its doors because it was losing clients and facing mounting legal fees in the Facebook investigation, a person familiar with the matter said. The firm is shutting down effective Wednesday and employees have been told to turn in their computers.
The moves followed the release of a video that depicted Mr. Nix touting campaign tactics such as entrapping political opponents with bribes and sex. The sales pitch was captured by undercover journalists at British broadcaster Channel 4. Mr. Nix’s suspension also follows reports that the company improperly used data from millions of Facebook Inc. profiles without authorization.
The business had $15 million in U.S. political work in the 2016 election cycle. Since then, Cambridge hadn’t notched a single U.S. federal political client. It lost several commercial clients in recent months.