Investigators raid Cambridge Analytica's London offices


The newspapers reported that Cambridge Analytica, whose United Kingdom -based parent SCL Group was also named in Cook County's suit, gained access to private information of more than 50 million Facebook users, including their profiles, locations and what they like.

Cambridge Analytica, which rose to prominence through its work with Trump's 2016 election campaign, has found itself confronting a deepening crisis since reports last weekend in The New York Times and The Observer of London that the firm had harvested the data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles in its bid to develop techniques for predicting the behavior of individual USA voters.

"They used the psychographic stuff, and the Facebook data was a part of that", said another former Cambridge Analytica employee, who requested anonymity to describe internal strategy.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has conducted a search of the London offices of Cambridge Analytica after obtaining a warrant from the High Court late on Friday. The data firm announced March 23, 2018, that it is commissioning a third-party audit to prove that it deleted the trove of data about Facebook users that has embroiled it in controversy.

British regulators finished searching the offices of Cambridge Analytica, the firm at the center of a Facebook data scandal, before dawn today and said they would examine the evidence before considering "next steps".

Elizabeth Denham, head of the ICO, sought the warrant after a whistleblower said Cambridge Analytica had gathered private information of 50 million Facebook users to support Donald Trump's 2016 USA presidential campaign.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Indian government, it stated, "The government is deeply concerned about such developments and is committed to ensuring the protection of the fundamental right of privacy and safety and security of data for every citizen of India".

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The psychometric personality profile was built up by asking the users to complete an assessment questionnaire and also to allow an application to look at the user's Facebook posts and likes.

Bolton's political committee, known as The John Bolton Super PAC, first hired Cambridge in August 2014, months after the political-data firm was founded and while it was still harvesting the Facebook data.

Cambridge Analytica may have broken USA election laws by having dozens of its foreign employees serve in decision-making roles on Republican campaigns in 2014. But the silver lining of the Cambridge Analytica revelations is that they have prompted many Facebook users to think, really think, about the business model of the platform they treat as a neutral utility.

The news comes three days after Cambridge Analytica suspended its CEO, Alexander Nix, "pending a full, independent investigation".

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie said he sat in on several high-level campaign conference calls that featured foreign-born Cambridge Analytica leaders.

The original idea was to use the collected data to target political ads at people based on their psychometric profiles.