According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), some of the data analytics company is supporting a political party to analyze the people’s personal information in the UK to micro-target voters. They want to aware people about the negative impact of exposing privacy of public information for creating political campaigns. Therefore, they have set up an enquiry to identify whether there is an act of criminal and civil enforcement involving in these campaigns or not. They targeted Cambridge Analytica for the enquiry in order to understand the real facts behind the cause.
This investigation includes collecting new information, evidence or statements that have come into suspects. On 7 March 2018, ICO demanded to access Cambridge Analytica data and records from them but the analytical company did not respond within the due date provided to them. Therefore, ICO started seeking for the warrant to collect information and get entry into the systems and the right evidence to their investigations. With this compelling, Facebook had decided to investigate their records on Cambridge Analytica’s premises with the support of ICO. This type of search has potentially agreed on a regulatory probe.
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Due to some issues, the court has adjourned the ICO’s warrant application related to the Cambridge Analytica’s data hacking but ultimately agreed to continue with the warrant issuance for access information and other major investigation. They found that personal data are been utilized for the political purposes but yet lacking from any evidence and thus providing the exact conclusion has been delayed. When things come to Cambridge Analytica side, they are been touched with ICO since February 2017 and consistently helping them investigate against the suspect things happened with the Facebook data.
Not only this, CA also took a proactive step while making conversation with the ICO in each aspect of the investigation. CA has let the ICO access the most recent Facebook data they have collected from GSR. CA always uses GSR to legally supply data for the research and it was not all any spam organization. GSR is the company where CA and other analytical companies regularly and legally take data for research purpose. CA remain committed to the support ICO needed from them. They have even permitted ICO volunteer to attend CA office to unfasten the scope of the inspection.
The warrant to inspect the Cambridge Analytica’s premises was executed on 23 March 2018. The investigators of the ICO team had left the premises at about 3 o clock morning and officially announced that this investigation was one of their larger investigations as it includes several tedious inspections like understanding the usage of personal data for creating political campaigns via social media companies and other commercial actors.
ICO is looking for how data has been extracted from the Facebook and shared with the analytical company and widens their research on investigating how these social media platforms are utilized in political campaigning. On another side, Facebook has also keep supporting the ICO to mitigate the uncertain acts happening with the organization and made certain changes to their security. CA and all other cooperative members ensured that the things that lead to criminal offence must not reciprocate within the organizations so that public data and their personal profiles could remain secure from deliberated actions.
ICO’s main focus on Cambridge Analytica and the Facebook data and the alleged misappropriation of the data, which is one strand of a much larger investigation into the use of personal data for big data politics. Therefore, they look at more than 30 organizations and they have been spending many months with their investigative team. They are looking at social media companies, data analytics companies, political campaigns and political parties because they are trying to understand on the basis of how they are sharing information. They also need to make sure that the public has more control and understands how their data may be used for political messaging and microtargeting.
At that point, ICO team was not satisfied with cooperation they are getting from the Cambridge Analytica and therefore, they decided to apply to the court and do an audit to get some answers as to whether data was misused and shared inappropriately. Once the court gives the approval for the warrant to get control over Cambridge Analytica premises, the analytical company calmly gives the ICO authorities to inspect for whatever they need from them. They entered some of the volunteers to the CA office for several days in order to inspect how the user’s data has been used for political campaigns. The team searched the organizational infrastructure comprehensively for several days and announced that both Cambridge Analytica and SCL group are their major targets and they keep investigating on them unless they find some big clue on the usage of personal data in political campaigns.
Cambridge Analytica clearly refuses to accept that they have a role in misusing public data for a political campaign. According to Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix, they ran many mobile servers appeared to time, trying to understand if they could use data in a meaningful way. Their intention was to accumulate the supporter through Facebook data and also allow them to give up on there. They were involved in the Trump campaigns for many months. They managed everything from research to data and analytics to all digital and television marketing. They rolled up some of the functions that are been delivered to the campaign.
By providing campaign services to the candidate who had been fairly nominated as a republic representative of the United States, Cambridge Analytic did not do any acts that could skew democracy. Although, they have some regrets about the way that CEO has represented what the company does. Alexander Nix certainly feels that the air of mystery and negativity that surrounds the work of Cambridge is misfounded. He took responsibility to enlight the fact that the staff have worked incredibly hard to build their business up. They are very driven on finding analytical solutions for very real problems.