May 2, 2018

Cambridge Analytica closing operations in wake of scandals

Logo of 'Cambridge Analytica' is seen on the screen of an iPhone. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Cambridge Analytica has announced it's closing operations Wednesday and has filed for bankruptcy in the wake of revelations that it misused Facebook data to build a system to predict and influence choices at election polls.

The details: The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the closure, said this comes as the company is losing clients and facing growing legal fees in the ongoing probe over the misuse of Facebook data. The company reportedly told employees to return their computers.

The backdrop: The data firm, which worked for President Trump’s 2016 campaign, faced scrutiny after investigations from The New York Times and The Observer revealed it had improperly used 50 million Facebook profiles of U.S. voters without authorization.

The closure comes more than a month after the company suspended CEO Alexander Nix following a report alleging that the firm used bribery and prostitution to entrap politicians in compromising situations. The firm also launched a probe to determine if it had engaged in wrongdoing.

  • Business Insider reported in March that some major players behind Cambridge Analytica have created a new company with Nix as its director and U.S. businessman, and staunch Trump supporter Erik Prince as chairman. Citing public filings at Britain's Companies House, the company, Emerdata, was incorporated last August, per Business Insider. The company's mission is unclear.

Go deeper

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.