After witnessing an extreme slump in business owing to the controversy over harvesting and supplying Facebook users’ personal data to various organizations without their consent, beleaguered British private data mining company Cambridge Analytica and its parent firm SCL Elections are winding up their operations, news agency Reuters reported.

Both the firms lost their clients and faced heavy legal fees following the revelations of Chris Wylie, a former employee of the British political consulting firm, how the company mined the personal data of millions of Facebook users since 2014 and passed those on to its clients.

Cambridge Analytica, which claimed itself to be a targeted advertising, consumer research, and other data-related services provider, allegedly passed on the data of 87 million Facebook users to run 'fake news' campaigns during the 2016 U.S. election campaign.

The flaming controversy and the increasing scrutiny and criticism from various quarters resulted in the loss of almost all of the clients and suppliers of the two firms.

The recent developments affected the businesses of Cambridge Analytica and its parent firm SCL Elections, rendering it unfeasible for them to sustain their business operations. The company will close on May 3, and it has directed its employees to hand over their computers and other office devices.

The firm had removed the Cambridge Analytica sign from London office’s reception area on May 3.

Investigations to continue in spite of the shutdown

In spite of the announcement of the shutdown, the UK’s data watchdog – Information Commissioner’s Office – informed that it would carry on its criminal and civil scrutiny of the firm and will pursue directors and individuals as appropriate.

The regulator will also keep a watch on any successor firms using its powers to audit and scrutinize to make sure that the public is protected.

The Cambridge Analytica controversy and its connection to Indian politics

Chris Wylie stated before British Parliamentary committee that the London-based firm was involved in various sort of projects in India and had several high-profile Indian political parties as its clients, including Congress.

As per his allegations, Congress Party Chief Rahul Gandhi appointed the company to bolster his image as the favorite Prime Ministerial candidate for the upcoming 2019 General Elections.

Congress party allegedly paid somewhere between Rs 5 billion and Rs 6 billion to the firm to tilt the elections in favor of India’s Grand Old Party.