Pedestrians pass the offices of Cambridge Analytica in London. Picture: REUTERS
Pedestrians pass the offices of Cambridge Analytica in London. Picture: REUTERS

New York — British political consulting group Cambridge Analytica filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York, court documents showed.

The firm, whose attorney filed late on Wednesday, announced in early May that it would close and file for bankruptcy in the UK and the US after failing to recover from the Facebook data scandal.

The documents listed Cambridge Analytica’s estimated assets in the range of $100,001 and $500,000, with estimated liabilities between $1m and $10m. Earlier in May, the company, which worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, claimed its business had been ruined by "numerous unfounded accusations", which rendered operating the business "no longer viable".

The firm became embroiled in scandal in March when former analyst Christopher Wylie revealed it had used a Facebook personality prediction app to hijack up to 87-million Facebook users’ data — claims Cambridge Analytica denies.

Soon after, Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was suspended after he was filmed by undercover reporters bragging about ways to win political campaigns, including through blackmail and honey traps.

Meanwhile, another whistle-blower said Britons’ personal data may have been misused by a pro-Brexit campaign ahead of the 2016 referendum in which Britain voted to leave the EU.

Wylie has also since told a Senate panel on interference in the 2016 US election that Cambridge Analytica had used Russian researchers and shared data with companies linked to Russian intelligence.

This week, the New York Times reported the US justice department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating Cambridge Analytica — although it was unclear if the probe was linked to special counsel Robert Mueller’s into Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

AFP

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