Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the centre of the Facebook data-sharing controversy, is to shut down, the company has announced.

The move comes after it admitted making mistakes over the misuse of data harvested from Facebook accounts.

SCL Group, parent company of Cambridge Analytica, is closing in the wake of rising legal costs in the Facebook investigation and loss of clients.

In a statement, it said: "Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the company's efforts to correct the record, 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.

"Despite Cambridge Analytica's unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully, which view is now fully supported by Mr  Malins' report (independent investigator Julian Malins), 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 company vehemently denied exploiting Facebook users' data for the election campaign of US President Donald Trump following revelations it gathered up profile information via a personality prediction app.

Facebook has admitted that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by the firm.

The firm claims it deleted data about Facebook users obtained in breach of the social network's terms of service.

Noting its financial condition was precarious, it added: "Cambridge Analytica intends to fully meet its obligations to its employees, including with respect to notice periods, severance terms, and redundancy entitlements." 

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What is Cambridge Analytica?

Up to 87m people had data harvested by an app which was then acquired by Cambridge Analytica, according to Facebook.

The app, a personality survey called 'yourdigitallife', collected personal data from users and their Facebook friends, in line with the behaviour of many similar apps at the time.

It allowed CA to tailor specific political adverts to small groups of people, already knowing what their likes and interests were, it is alleged.

Cambridge Analytica played a key role in mapping out the behaviour of voters in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election and was also used during the EU referendum campaign in the UK earlier that year.