Cambridge Analytica, the data firm at the center of the Facebook privacy scandal, announced today it is ceasing operations and filing for bankruptcy in the U.S. and U.K.
The London-based company that mined the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users defended their controversial business practices in a press release, citing a report released today by legal counsel Julian Malins. The company blamed the media for damaging its reputation and causing customers to cut off ties with the firm.
Their press release around the firm’s shutdown reads, in part:
“Despite Cambridge Analytica’s unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully, which view is now fully supported by Mr. Malins’ report, the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers. As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the Company into administration.”
The firm, which has been under growing public scrutiny for obtaining user data without their permission, said its business practices are common to other online advertisers and that Cambridge Analytica has been “vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas.”
A spokesperson for Facebook said in a statement to Recode, “This doesn’t change our commitment and determination to understand exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We are continuing with our investigation in cooperation with the relevant authorities.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.