ICO promises to ‘invoke all our powers’ in Cambridge Analytica probe

Written by Sam Trendall on 20 March 2018 in News
News

Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham confirms warrant has been served on UK company

The Information Commissioner’s Office has confirmed it is examining the possible illegal acquisition of Facebook data by UK marketing firm Cambridge Analytica, and has promised to bring all its powers to bear during the investigation.

Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham announced on Saturday that her agency is “investigating the circumstances in which Facebook data may have been illegally acquired and used”.

She added: “It’s part of our ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes which was launched to consider how political parties and campaigns, data analytics companies and social media platforms in the UK are using and analysing people’s personal information to micro target voters.”

A second, more detailed statement followed on Monday, in which Denham said the ICO will investigate how Facebook data was acquired and used by Cambridge Analytica, its parent company SCL, and academic Dr Aleksandr Kogan. 


Related content


"This is a complex and far-reaching investigation for my office and any criminal or civil enforcement actions arising from it will be pursued vigorously,” she said. “We are continuing to invoke all of our powers and are pursuing a number of live lines of inquiry.”

The BBC reported on Monday that the ICO had given Cambridge Analytica until 6pm to provide access to its servers – a deadline that came and went without access being granted.

"I'm not accepting their response so therefore I'll be applying to the court for a warrant," Denham said. "We need to get in there, we need to look at the databases, we need to look at the servers and understand how data was processed or deleted by Cambridge Analytica."

The company, which claims to specialise in data-focused marketing and political campaigns, is alleged to have used data from 50 million Facebook users, which was reportedly acquired via an online personality quiz developed by Kogan.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

The three public sector technology trends that will define 2019
27 December 2018

PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall picks out the topics and trends that will dominate the year ahead, and revisits the predictions of a year ago to see any of them came to pass

Related Sponsored Articles

One click, no clunk: meetings made simple
14 January 2019

BT shows how to move from separate audio and web conferencing services to a fully integrated video, mobile, any device from anywhere meeting experience

Implementing an SD-WAN which delivers on its promise
7 January 2019

BT's Keith Langridge leads a debate on implementing an SD-WAN which delivers on its promise, now and into the future

How the Internet of Things is revolutionising business
26 November 2018

BT thinks The Internet of Things is about to undergo a revolution. Over the past two decades, we've seen IoT tech evolve from a possibility, to a novelty, to an established tool that plays a vital...