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ICO statement: investigation into data analytics for political purposes

UPDATE: Thursday 5 April 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said:

“As part of my investigation into the use of personal data and analytics by political campaigns, parties, social media companies and other commercial actors, the ICO is investigating 30 organisations, including Facebook.

“The ICO is looking at how data was collected from a third party app on Facebook and shared with Cambridge Analytica. We are also conducting a broader investigation into how social media platforms were used in political campaigning.

“Facebook has been co-operating with us and, while I am pleased with the changes they are making, it is too early to say whether they are sufficient under the law.

“This is an important time for privacy rights. Transparency and accountability must be considered, otherwise it will be impossible to rebuild trust in the way that personal information is obtained, used and shared online.

“This is why, besides my investigation, which could result in enforcement action, I will also be making clear public policy recommendations to help us understand how our personal data is used online and what we can do to control how it's used.”


UPDATE: Saturday 24 March 2018

An ICO spokesperson said:

"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.

"We will now need to assess and consider the evidence before deciding the next steps and coming to any conclusions.

"This is one part of a larger investigation by the ICO into the use of personal data and analytics by political campaigns, parties, social media companies and other commercial actors."


UPDATE: Friday 23 March 2018

An ICO spokesperson said:

"We are pleased with the decision of the Judge, and the warrant is now being executed. This is just one part of a larger investigation into the use of personal data and analytics for political purposes. As you will expect, we will now need to collect, assess and consider the evidence before coming to any conclusions."


UPDATE: Thursday 22 March 2018

An ICO spokesperson said:

“A High Court judge has adjourned the ICO’s application for a warrant relating to Cambridge Analytica until Friday. The ICO will be in court to continue to pursue the warrant to obtain access to data and information to take forward our investigation.”


UPDATE: Monday 19 March 2018, 7:30pm

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said:

"On 7 March, my office issued a Demand for Access to records and data in the hands of Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica has not responded by the deadline provided; therefore, we are seeking a warrant to obtain information and access to systems and evidence related to our investigation. 

"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."


UPDATE: Monday 19 March 2018

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said:

"A full understanding of the facts, data flows and data uses is imperative for my ongoing investigation. This includes any new information, statements or evidence that have come to light in recent days.

"Our investigation into the use of personal data for political campaigns, includes the acquisition and use of Facebook data by SCL, Doctor Kogan and Cambridge Analytica.

"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."


Saturday 17 March 2018

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner said:

“We are investigating the circumstances in which Facebook data may have been illegally acquired and used.

“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.

"It is important that the public are fully aware of how information is used and shared in modern political campaigns and the potential impact on their privacy.

“We are continuing to invoke all of our powers and are pursuing a number of live lines of inquiry. Any criminal and civil enforcement actions arising from the investigation will be pursued vigorously".

 


 

Read our blogs about our investigation into data analytics for political purposes here: