The firm at the centre of Facebook’s data leak scandal, Cambridge Analytica, filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a New York on Thursday.
The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, SCL Elections, announced it would shut down on May 3.
The consulting firm mined and exploited the personal data of 87 million Facebook users to help the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign, as well as the UK’s Leave campaign. As soon as the closing down was announced, the Chair of the UK’s House of Commons select committee for Digital affairs, Damian Collins, told the BBC that the company “cannot be allowed” to delete their data history by closing.
Facebook’s troubles will continue, as probes into how Cambridge Analytica gained access to user data in the UK and the US will continue.
The London-based Privacy International advocacy group is proposing a cluster of legal measures to avoid the next Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. One of the key features of the Privacy International proposals is the shift of focus from companies exploiting data – like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica – to data ownership. That is significant because consumers do not have the technological expertise to understand how deeply technological behemoths can penetrate their privacy.