British authorities have gathered evidence from Cambridge Analytica following a search of the firm’s London headquarters over the weekend.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) had been attempting to gain access to Cambridge Analytica’s offices since 7th March. Meanwhile Facebook was conducting a search of the same offices that only ceased once ICO asked it to.
“On 19 March, Facebook announced that it will stand down its search of Cambridge Analytica’s premises at our request. Such a search would potentially compromise a regulatory investigation,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement last week.
After not having a warrant to enter and search Cambridge Analytica’s offices for an entire week, ICO was finally granted permission.
“The warrant to inspect the premises of Cambridge Analytica was executed at 20.00 on 23 March 2018. Our investigators left the premises at about 03.00,” said an ICO spokesperson.
“We will now need to assess and consider the evidence before deciding the next steps and coming to any conclusions,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile acting CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Dr Alexander Tayler, has issued an apology, of sorts.
“I am sorry that in 2014, SCL Elections (an affiliate of Cambridge Analytica) licensed Facebook data and derivatives from a research company (GSR) that had not received consent from most respondents. The company believed that the data had been obtained in line with Facebook’s terms of service and data protection laws,” wrote Tayler.
Tayler adds that every effort to delete user data at Facebook’s request stating that “we did not use any GSR data in the work we did in the 2016 US presidential election.”
Following the search the ICO said that this matter forms part of a larger investigation into the use of personal data and analytics by political parties, commercial actors and social media firms.
[Source – ICO & Cambridge Analytica] [Image – CC BY 2.0 Thought Catalog]