NEWS27 March 2018

Cambridge Analytica accused of violating US election law

Data analytics News North America Privacy Public Sector UK

US – Government watchdog Common Cause has filed complaints against Cambridge Analytica, alleging that several of its employees were in breach of law regarding US elections.

Data protection

The move follows last week’s accusations that the firm harvested data from Facebook user profiles ahead of the US presidential election.

On Monday ( 26 March), Common Cause filed a pair of legal complaints with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Department of Justice, according to a report from ABC News.

The complaints allege that several Cambridge Analytica employees violated FEC prohibitions on foreign nationals’ involvement in election-related activities.

According to FEC records, Cambridge Analytica was paid almost $6m for services by Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle.

In the UK, investigators from the information commissioner’s office were granted a warrant to inspect Cambridge Analytica’s premises, which was carried out on Friday night ( 23 March), as part of a wider ICO investigation on the use of data and analytics for political purposes.

Cambridge Analytica has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. In the latest statement issued by the company, on 23 March, acting CEO Alexander Tayler said: "We take the disturbing recent allegations of unethical practices in our non-US political business very seriously. 

"As anyone who is familiar with our staff and work can testify, we in no way resemble the politically-motivated and unethical company that some have sought to portray. Our staff are a talented, diverse and vibrant group of people."