Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy in the US

The firm, whose data collection methods have come under scrutiny by Congress, filed the petition to a Manhattan court along with its parent company SCL Group, according to BuzzFeed News.

British consulting company Cambridge Analytica has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy at the US Bankruptcy Court Southern District of NY. The U.K. branch of the company had filed for protection from creditors in the U.K. earlier this month. Cambridge Analytica listed assets in the range of $100,001 to $500,000 and liabilities between $1 million to $10 million. The data was collected in 2013 by researcher Aleksandr Kogan via a Facebook personality quiz, which was able to harvest info on up to 300,000 users' friends; Kogan subsequently sold that data to Cambridge Analytica.

During his time as vice president of Cambridge Analytica, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon attempted to use the company's political ad targeting technology to suppress the African American vote, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the Senate judiciary committee Wednesday.

"This means that in addition to Facebook data being accessed in Russia, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that CA may have been an intelligence target of Russian security services.(and) that Russian security services may have been notified of the existence of CA's Facebook data", Wylie said in his written testimony. Facebook claims it changed its policies in 2014 to prevent apps from accessing info on users' friends in the way that Kogan's quiz had done.

Facebook has faced multiple investigations in the United States and Europe over its handling of personal data of users, hurting shares of the Mark Zuckerberg-led company.

Few months ago Wylie made headlines for revealing almost 87 million people may have been victims of data harvested by Cambridge Analytica without their consent as a result of a third-party application spoke of voter suppression during a Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday.

Vanessa Coleman

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