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US Department of Justice, FBI begin investigating Cambridge Analytica following its shutdown

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 16, 2018, 02:18 PM IST

File photo. Photograph:(Reuters)

The Department of Justice and the FBI have started investigating the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica which had announced its shut down last month due to the Facebook scandal. 

As per reports, the investigation is in the primary stages and no details have yet been given out about the firm's involvement in the 2016 presidential elections. 

Prosecutors have sought to question former Cambridge Analytica employees and banks that handled its business, the newspaper said, citing an American official and others familiar with the inquiry, 

The investigation is also looking into the company’s financial history, in particular, its relationship to certain banks, and how it may have used the data it gathered from Facebook and other online sources, reports say. 

Cambridge Analytical announced its shut down amid reports of providing ad targeting expertise for Trump's campaign based on data it got from Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan, who gathered the data on as many as 87 million Facebook users using a quiz app. 

Kogan thereafter sold the data - violating Facebook's terms and services. 

Cambridge Analytica said earlier this month it was shutting down after losing clients and facing mounting legal fees. 

Cambridge Analytica was created around 2013, initially with a focus on US elections, with $15 million in backing from billionaire Republican donor Robert Mercer and a name chosen by future Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, the New York Times has reported. Bannon left the White House on August 2017.