The Information Commissioner’s Office is ramping up its action against SCL Elections, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, by launching a legal case against the firm for failing to comply with an enforcement notice – an offence which carries an unlimited fine.
The case centres on a complaint made by US academic Professor David Carroll, who discovered way back in 2016 that SCL Elections held a raft of personal data on him which was processed in the UK.
Following a subject access request he received a spreadsheet from the SCL Group which was said to contain all of the personal data to which he was legally entitled.
However, Prof Carroll believed this was inadequate and complained to the ICO, which then wrote to SCL in September 2017, sharing its concerns.
In November 2017, the company replied, denying that the ICO had any jurisdiction or that Prof Carroll was legally entitled to his data, adding that SCL did “not expect to be further harassed with this sort of correspondence”.
In May, the ICO has issued an enforcement notice giving the London-based data analytics company 30 days to comply. However, this deadline was not met and the legal action started at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London this week.
In a statement, the ICO said: “The ICO is prosecuting SCL Elections for failing to comply with an enforcement notice. Proceedings began on 3 October 2018 when the company entered a not guilty plea. A trial has been set for 9 January 2019 to be heard at Hendon Magistrates’ Court.”
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