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Facebook scandal enquiry to continue despite the collapse of Cambridge Analytica

Facebook, which has about 2.2 billion users worldwide, came under fire for failing to protect its users from the data breach but Cambridge Analytica has paid a heavier price

Data privacy
The founders of Cambridge Analytica's parent company have reportedly set up a new company

Cambridge Analytica, the data harvesting firm at the centre of the recent Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) privacy scandal, has gone belly-up.

The investigation into the company will continue, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed after the collapse of the company was made public.

READ: Facebook users find out today if details were shared with Cambridge Analytica

"We will be examining closely the details of the announcements of the winding down of Cambridge Analytica and the status of its parent company,” a spokeswoman for the ICO said.

"The ICO will continue its civil and criminal investigations and will seek to pursue individuals and directors as appropriate and necessary even where companies may no longer be operating.

"We will also monitor closely any successor companies using our powers to audit and inspect, to ensure the public is safeguarded," she added.

Cambridge Analytica shut up shop on Wednesday after customers deserted it following the Facebook privacy scandal in which it emerged that Cambridge Analytica had taken advantage of lax data protection procedures at the social media giant to reportedly harvest personal data of around 87mln Facebook users.

It is believed that Cambridge Analytica used the data to psychologically profile voters in the run-up to the US presidential election. Donald Trump’s team has denied using the data.

Damian Collins, the chair of the House of Commons select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said via a tweet that Cambridge Analytica, and its parent company, SCL Group, “cannot be allowed to delete their data history by closing”.

"We've got to make sure this isn't an attempt to run and hide, that these companies are not closing down to try to avoid them being rigorously investigated over the allegations that are being made against them,” he told the BBC.

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