The UK’s data watchdog, the ICO, finally obtained a warrant to enter and search the offices of Cambridge Analytica late Friday — carrying out an evidence gathering sweep of the company into the small hours of Saturday morning. Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of a data misuse storm that’s wiped billions off the value of Facebook since newspaper revelations late last week revealed the extent of data swiped by the UK political consultancy which intended to use the information for the Trump campaign. In a statement on its website today, the ICO said: The warrant to inspect the premises of Cambridge Analytica was executed at 20.00 on 23 March 2018. Our investigators left the premises at about 03.00. We will now need to assess and consider the evidence before deciding the next steps and coming to any conclusions. This is one part of a larger investigation by the ICO into the use of personal data and analytics by political campaigns, parties, social media companies and other commercial actors. ICO commissioner Elizabeth Denham has confirmed previously that complaints related to Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data for political ad targeting form part of that larger, ongoing investigation. It opened its formal investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes in May 2017. This week, after saying it had failed to obtain information it had requested from CA, the regulator applied for a warrant to enter and search CA’s offices — in the wake of reports by the New York Times and Observer of London based on interviews with former CA employee, Chris Wylie. According to Wylie, CA used a survey app created by a Cambridge University academic to suck up data on 50M Facebook users. The intent was to use the information for political targeting purposes for the benefit of the Trump campaign. Earlier this month Denham told a UK parliamentary committee that’s also running an investigation into fake news that she hoped to publish her review of digital political ad targeting this May. Although that was before the ICO decided it needed to apply for a warrant to raid CA’s offices. The regulator has now said it will need time to sift through the evidence it gathered overnight — so it remains to be seen whether its wider review of political ad targeting will be delayed as a result. ICO granted warrant: We’re pleased with the decision of the…

Source: TechCrunch – Social Cambridge Analytica raided by UK data watchdog