ICO's Cambridge Analytica probe to continue despite closure

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Twitter said Aleksandr Kogan's company Global Science Research paid to access Twitter data

Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm which is in the eye of a storm for allegedly harvesting personal data without the consent of Facebook users, along with its British parent firm SCL Elections Ltd, has chose to shut operations immediately, a press statement released by CA Commercial said.

The company was accused of collecting and using personal data without the permission of 90 million Facebook users.

Cambridge Analytica was served for the campaign of the US President Trump in the 2016 US Presidential Elections.

The Information Commissioner's Office said that it will examine the closure and keep an eye on any companies that may look like a successor.

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for Cambridge Analytica, referred the BBC to a statement on the firm's website.

Cambridge Analytica was also rocked by undercover recordings appearing to show senior figures in the company boasting about underhand tactics that could be used to entrap opposition politicians like bribery and sex.

Then Kogan sold the data to Cambridge Analytica, which combines data mining, data brokerage and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process. "As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the Company into administration".

Its ousted chief executive Alexander Nix was also a director before being removed in April, while Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer, the daughters of the United States billionaire and Cambridge Analytica backer Robert Mercer, are also listed as directors. In a statement Wednesday, Cambridge Analytica insists it has done nothing wrong and has been "vilified" in the media.

→ PROFILE: Is Elizabeth Denham the most powerful woman in Britain? .

Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way, adding that the data provisions act requires services like Facebook to have strong safeguards against the misuse of data. For example, Cambridge Analytica said it has basically got its employees' backs and will meet its obligations to pay notice periods, severance terms and so on.

Former Cambridge Analytica employees have said that this work was done nearly entirely in London, by people employed by the British-based SCL Group, and that some of these foreigners went to work directly on US campaigns.

Its parent company SCL Group is also closing, with the group filing for bankruptcy with immediate effect. The allegations claim that the firm invaded user privacy to support Trump's campaign.

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