Cambridge Analytica fined £15,000 by the ICO

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The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined SCL Elections Ltd (Cambridge Analytica) £15,000 due to a failure surrounding the correct protocol for satisfactory subject access request notices. The company received a subject access request from US-based academic, Professor David Carroll, and when they failed to respond to the individual request the ICO issued an enforcement notice on SCL Elections Ltd.

SCL Elections Ltd was summoned to Hendon Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty – through the company’s official administrators – for the breach of the Data Protection Act of 1998. The criminal prosecution based on Professor Carroll’s failure to receive his subject access request in a timely manner resulted in the company being fined £15,000 plus an additional £6,000 in legal courts and a £160 victim surcharge.

The Head of the ICO, Elizabeth Denham, stated:

“This prosecution, the first against Cambridge Analytica, is a warning that there are consequences for ignoring the law.

Wherever you live in the world, if your data is being processed by a UK company, UK data protection laws apply.

Organisations that handle personal data must respect people’s legal privacy rights. Where that does not happen and companies ignore ICO enforcement notices, we will take action.”

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