Cambridge Analytica files for chapter 7 bankruptcy in United States court

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The UK-based political consulting firm had already said it would cease operations and wind down in its home country and the Chapter 7 petition in NY will address issues raised by USA creditors.

Political consulting group Cambridge Analytica used Russian researchers and shared data with companies linked to Russian intelligence, a whistleblower told a congressional hearing on interference in the 2016 USA election Wednesday.

It said in a NY court filing that its assets totalled 100,001 to 500,000 dollars (£75,000 to £370,000).

The filing was signed by Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer, sisters who are majority shareholders of Cambridge Analytica.

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The Mercer family was one of Trump's biggest donors.

Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL Elections, had said earlier this month that they would shut down after losing all their customers and partners after the Facebook revelations.

The firm amassed the controversial database quickly with the help of an app that purported to be a personality test.

Christopher Wylie, who leaked information on the British-based firm's hijacking of data on millions of Facebook users, told a Senate panel he believes Russian intelligence services had access to data harvested by the consultancy.

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Facebook has since tightened its privacy restrictions, and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg gave evidence to Congress in two days of hearings. He said that information could be used to create an algorithm to target Facebook users with profiles similar to those that were obtained by Cambridge Analytica. One segment showed chief executive officer Alexander Nix saying that Ukrainian girls "are very handsome, I find that works very well".

Channel 4 News broadcast clips that showed Mr Nix saying his data-mining firm played a major role in securing Mr Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential elections.

The company, whose activities in consulting on political campaigns in India, the USA and elsewhere hit the headlines in March, is also the focus of an investigation by the UK Parliament's committee for digital, culture, media and sport.

Zuckerberg has appeared before U.S. congressional committees to testify on data privacy and will meet leaders of the European Parliament soon.

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