May 07, 2018
UK data privacy watchdog group, Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reportedly ordered Cambridge Analytica to return all of the personal data it collected from an American professor amidst the Facebook privacy scandal.
The ICO noted that even non-British citizens have the right to seek and obtain data held by a British firm. The company has 30 days to comply with the request submitted by Professor David Caroll.
Failing to do so, the company will be charged on account of violating the Data Protection Act of 1998, and will be committing a criminal offense under which it can be punished by an unlimited fine, Digital Trends has reported.
The professor had previously sought access to the data the firm had collected about him. However, he was not convinced with the limited explanations provided to him.
Last week, there were reports that Cambridge Analytica and its British parent SCL Elections Ltd were shutting down immediately after suffering a sharp drop in business.
The company will begin bankruptcy proceedings, it said, after losing clients and facing mounting legal fees resulting from the scandal over reports the company harvested personal data about millions of Facebook users beginning in 2014.
"The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the Company’s customers and suppliers," the statement said.
"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."
Allegations of the improper use of data for 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Donald Trump’s 2016 US election campaign, has hurt the shares of the world’s biggest social network and prompted multiple official investigations in the United States and Europe.
"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," the company’s statement said.