Cambridge Analytica closes as former executives create another data company

After finding itself in the middle of Facebook’s privacy scandal, Cambridge Analytica announced it will shut down. Cambridge Analytica’s affiliate, U.K.-based SCL Elections announced that it, too, will cease operations and that both companies will begin the insolvency process.

“Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of 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,” the company said in a  statement announcing the closure of its offices. As a result of media coverage surrounding its data collection practices, the company said it lost virtually all of its customers and suppliers.

Cambridge Analytica had $15 million in business for its work in the 2016 election, The Wall Street Journal reported. However, it was not able to attract new business from a single federal political client since and has lost several clients in recent months.

The company was responsible for working on the digital strategy for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and it gained infamy after reports surfaced that it had collected data on more than 87 million Facebook users. News of the data breach resulted in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressing the U.S. Congress on issues of user privacy, and the U.K. parliament is also requesting testimony.

Coincidentally, news of Cambridge Analytica’s closure was announced on the second day of Facebook’s F8 developer conference, which is currently taking place in Silicon Valley. The company had shut down offices in London, New York City, and Washington, D.C., according to The Wall Street Journal report. Another reason for the closure, aside from the loss of clients, is that the company was “facing mounting legal fees in the Facebook investigation,” the Journal said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

As a result of the scandal, Facebook has changed its data sharing policies and limited sharing user data with third-party developers, a move that may have negatively impacted Cambridge Analytica’s business model.

Although Cambridge Analytica became a household name after its connection to Facebook was revealed, the company’s reputation was further damaged after reports that CEO — who has since resigned — Alexander Nix had discussed using bribes and sex as strategies to entrap political opponents.

Although Cambridge Analytica may be going away, its practices and business model may still live on. According to public filings in Britain, Nix and SCL chairman Julian Whitman are listed as directors in new data analytic firm Emerdata. “It isn’t clear what Emerdata does, though the company is listed under “data processing, hosting, and related activities.” It shares an address in Canary Wharf with Cambridge Analytica’s parent, SCL Group,” Business Insider reported.

Product Review

Origin's Chronos PC is no looker, but it plays games with eye-popping detail

The Chronos is Origin’s smallest PC, but while it occupies less space than most A/V receivers, it delivers the power of a much larger desktop. Its dull exterior design does the system a disservice. Once you turn it on, you won’t be…
Social Media

Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October

Google confirmed that it will begin retiring the classic Google Hangouts app in October. The company will start by pushing users to move to the new Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Emerging Tech

Facebook hasn’t given up on the idea of building an internet drone

Facebook's efforts to provide internet connectivity from the skies using solar-powered drones suffered a blow last year when the company abandoned its "Aquila" drone project. But the company clearly hasn't given up on the idea.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

How good are you at spotting phishing scams? Take this quiz to find out

Are you able to discern between a legitimate email and one that's a scam designed to phish for your personal information? Google created an online quiz with tips to help you better understand phishing so you don't become a victim.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Computing

Patent application reveals what’s to come after AMD’s Graphics Core Next

A published patent application from AMD has revealed a new type of graphics processor core which could make a big difference to the capabilities of its GPUs if it finds its way into them in the future.
Computing

Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft announced seven new low-cost Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $300 to take on Chromebooks and iPads in the education market, along with a new Microsoft Allora stylus for students using the Surface Go tablet.
Computing

Lenovo patent hints at a future tablet with a folding screen

Folding devices are a new trend, and according to a recent patent, Lenovo is considering a foldable 2-in-1 with a hinge mechanism that would allow consumers to bend back the screen on the device. 
Computing

Wifi Porter is a high-tech block of wood that lets you share your broadband

Tired of manually connecting your guests to your home Wi-Fi network? The latest invention from the folks at Ten One Design, the WifiPorter, allow individuals to connect to your Wi-Fi with the tap of their phone, or by scanning an available…