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The Latest: Facebook scrutiny remains despite firm’s closing

The Latest: Facebook scrutiny remains despite firm's closing
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Cambridge Analytica, firm behind Facebook privacy debacle (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

One digital-rights advocate says criticisms of Facebook’s privacy practices won’t go away just because Cambridge Analytica has decided to close.

Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy says Cambridge Analytica’s practices are “emblematic of how data driven digital marketing occurs worldwide.” He says there are “many more Cambridge Analytica-like companies are operating in the conjoined commercial and political marketplace.”

Facebook says it’s still committing to investigating Cambridge Analytica “to understand exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Cambridge Analytica said Wednesday that it’s declaring bankruptcy and shutting down. The firm says the media furor stripped it of its customers and suppliers, forcing it to close.

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4:10 p.m.

North Carolina’s Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint over work performed by Cambridge Analytica for the campaign of Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of vacuuming data from Facebook users to try to influence the 2016 presidential race. It announced Wednesday that it’s closing down because of what it considers vilification in the media.

North Carolina Democrats filed an Federal Election Commission complaint against Tillis’ campaign and the state Republican Party. Democrats allege they violated the law because Cambridge Analytica employees were foreign nationals who helped make key campaign decisions.

Cambridge’s website describes using the company’s “unique data-rich voter file” to build high-tech profiles for all North Carolina voters that were used to increase turnout and help Tillis unseat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

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3:25 p.m.

Facebook says it will keep looking into data misuse by Cambridge Analytica even though the firm is closing down.

Cambridge Analytica said Wednesday it will cease all operations immediately. The company has been linked to Donald Trump’s election campaign and sparked a scandal when it was revealed it collected Facebook user data inappropriately. In a statement Wednesday, Cambridge Analytica insists it has done nothing wrong and has been “vilified” in the media.

Facebook’s audit of the firm has been suspended while U.K. regulators conduct their own probe. But Facebook says Cambridge Analytica’s decision to close “doesn’t change our commitment and determination to understand exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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3 p.m.

The data firm at the center of Facebook’s privacy scandal is declaring bankruptcy and shutting down.

In a statement, Cambridge Analytica says it has been “vilified” for actions it says are both legal and widely accepted as part of online advertising. The firm says the media furor stripped it of its customers and suppliers, forcing it to close.

Cambridge Analytica sought information on Facebook to build psychological profiles on a large portion of the U.S. electorate. The company was able to amass the database quickly with the help of an app that appeared to be a personality test. The app collected data on tens of millions of people and their Facebook friends, even those who did not download the app themselves.

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2:30 p.m.

A published report says the data firm at the center of Facebook’s privacy debacle is closing its doors.

Cambridge Analytica has been linked to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The British firm suspended its CEO Alexander Tayler in April amid investigations.

The Wall Street Journal says Wednesday’s shutdown comes as the firm is losing clients and facing legal fees from the Facebook case.

Cambridge Analytica did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cambridge Analytica sought information on Facebook to build psychological profiles on a large portion of the U.S. electorate. The company was able to amass the database quickly with the help of an app that appeared to be a personality test. The app collected data on tens of millions of people and their Facebook friends.

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