Judge grants search warrant for Cambridge Analytica offices

Cambridge Analytica CEO suspended – and that's not even the worst news for them today

After a hearing at London's High Court on Friday, Judge Leonard said he would give the reasons for his decision on Tuesday.

Officers from Britain's information regulator are raiding the London offices of data firm Cambridge Analytica after being granted a warrant as part of an investigation into alleged misuse of personal information.

Around 18 enforcement agents from the office of Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham entered the company's London headquarters at around 8pm (2000 GMT) to execute the warrant.

A search of Cambridge Analytica's premises by Facebook's own investigators was called off earlier this week after a request from the ICO, who warned "such a search would potentially compromise a regulatory investigation".

Officials were seen taking photographs of a whiteboard and of computers, while a man took notes on clipboard.

The data watchdog's investigation includes the acquisition and use of Facebook data by CA, its parent company SCL and academic Dr Aleksandr Kogan, who developed the app used to gather data.

Cambridge Analytica is accused of harvesting personal data of Facebook users to influence elections in several countries including the U.S. presidential elections.

Denham first sought the warrant on Monday, as Cambridge Analytica was accused of harvesting millions of Facebook users' data.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has issued a public apology, admitting there had been a "major breach of trust".

The data "allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump's campaign in 2016", the Times reported.

Soon after the ruling, the lights on the second floor offices of CA were switched on before the group arrived an hour later.

The Information Commissioner can now impose fines of up to 500,000 pounds ($700,000) but will gain the power to fine an organisation up to 4 percent of its global turnover when new data protection legislation comes into force in May.

Cambridge Analytica - best known for its role in Donald Trump's presidential campaign - has come under scrutiny after allegations that it used data from millions of Facebook profiles without authorisation.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, she said: "We need to get in there".

"We are now undertaking an independent third-party audit to verify that we do not hold any GSR data".

Behind the frosted glass windows at the central London office block, people could just barely be seen looking at and moving papers around.

Curious passers-by asked the waiting press what the fuss was about.



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