Sat May 5th, 2018 at 05:59:30 PM EST
UK regulator orders Cambridge Analytica to release data on US voter | The Guardian |
Cambridge Analytica has been ordered to hand over all the data and personal information it has on an American voter, including details of where it got the data and what it did with it, or face a criminal prosecution.
The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) served the enforcement notice to the company on Friday in a landmark legal decision that opens the way for up to 240 million other American voters to request their data back from the firm under British data protection laws.
The test case was taken to the ICO by David Carroll, an associate professor at Parsons School of Design in New York. As a US citizen, he had no means of obtaining this information under US law, but in January 2016 he discovered Cambridge Analytica had processed US voter data in the UK and that this gave him rights under British laws.
Cambridge Analytica had refused to accept this and told the ICO that Carroll was no more entitled to make a so-called "subject access request" under the UK Data Protection Act "than a member of the Taliban sitting in a cave in the remotest corner of Afghanistan".
Continued below the fold ...
The ICO did not accept this as a valid legal argument and has now told SCL Elections, which acted as the data controller for Cambridge Analytica, that it has 30 days to comply or appeal. Cambridge Analytica and its affiliates announced this week that they had gone into liquidation, but the ICO has made it clear that it cannot avoid its responsibilities under UK law and states that "failure to comply with this enforcement notice is a criminal offence".
○ Tory donors among investors in Cambridge Analytica parent firm
○ Steve Bannon on Cambridge Analytica - SCL Group
Cambridge Analytica is dead - but its obscure network is alive and well | The Guardian - 4 hrs ago |
Cambridge Analytica and SCL have at least 18 active companies, branches, and affiliates with similar names, based in the UK and the US. The complex relationship among these companies makes it very difficult to understand how revenues, employment, and data are shared. It almost seems as though the business structure was created to make it impossible to track decision-making and funding.
On Wednesday afternoon Cambridge Analytica issued a press release stating: "SCL Elections Ltd., as well as certain of its and Cambridge Analytica LLC's U.K. affiliates (collectively, the `Company' or `Cambridge Analytica') filed applications to commence insolvency proceedings in the U.K." It also stated that "parallel bankruptcy proceedings will soon be commenced on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and certain of the Company's U.S. affiliates in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York."
It is notable that Cambridge Analytica's press release does not mention SCL Group Limited, SCL Social Ltd, or SCL Insight Ltd. Is it closing only some affiliates and leaving others open?
Shortly after the whistleblower story on Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data broke in March, the Cambridge Analytica CEO, Alexander Nix, was suspended and three US states opened investigations into Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. In the following weeks, current and past employees of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have testified in the UK, the US, Canada and other countries, and a US and UK class action lawsuit was filed against both companies in early April.
○ Life Inside S.C.L., Cambridge Analytica's Parent Company | The New Yorker |
○ Cambridge Analytica founders behind new London-based data processing company
The founders and funders of controversial election consultants Cambridge Analytica are behind a new company registered in London appearing to offer similar services. Executives at Cambridge Analytica (CA) and parent company SCL Group registered Emerdata Limited as a data processing company last summer but they have since listed directors linked to private military contractors, secretive political meetings and the Trump administration.
Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer, daughters of the billionaire Robert Mercer who funded Cambridge Analytica, its parent company SCL Group and Donald Trump's election campaign, were officially registered as directors of the company on, the same day CA chief executive Alexander Nix was suspended from his role for comments made to journalists posing as prospective clients.
See also my recent diaries on topic ...
○ Mercer's Cambridge Analytica Files for Bankruptcy
○ Cambridge Analytica 2.0 Linked to Erik Prince