Thanks to an American professor finding a genius workaround and a court in the UK, Cambridge Analytica has been ordered to hand over all the data and personal information the company collected on American voters. The company’s worst nightmare has just come to fruition because now they have to tell the truth.
If Cambridge Analystica refuses to comply, it will face criminal prosecution, and it’s all thanks to one man.
It all started with an American professor named David Caroll. As a US citizen, he did not have a means to demand Cambridge Analytica give him what they had collected on him. But then he had an idea.
Because the company processed some of the data it collected on American voters in the UK, Caroll realized that gave him rights under British law. Cambridge Analytica refused to accept Caroll’s perfectly legal request, saying that he was no more entitled to the information than “a member of the Taliban sitting in a cave in the remotest corner of Afghanistan.”
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) disagreed with Cambridge Analytica entirely.
HAND IT OVER
The ICO served the company with the enforcement notice last Friday. This case could pave the way for 240 million American voters to demand their data back thanks to British data protection laws.
And that’s just the beginning. Once the data is handed over, everyone will be able to take a look at precisely what the company had and, more importantly, how it used the information:
“This should solve a lot of mysteries about what the company did with data and where it got it from,” said Caroll. “I hope that it will help the ongoing investigations in my country and yours, and other places like Canada. There’s a lot of questions that no one has been able to answer until now so hopefully, this will be a major breakthrough in our understanding of what it did.”
THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT
“Cambridge Analytica has been able to evade journalists’ questions and mislead both parliament and Congress, but now if they don’t answer these questions, it shows they’re criminally liable. And there’s also the potential that the truth could be even more incriminating.” said Caroll.
Cambridge Analystica claimed to have collected up to 7,000 data points on over 240 million Americans. If the company refuses at this point to comply with Caroll’s request or is found to have misused the data in any way, the entire US electorate could file a class action lawsuit.
Which, according to the Guardian, and Paul-Oliver Dehay, a data expert that helped Caroll with his request, could be why the company recently decided to fold and liquidate all its assets.
It is quickly selling things off before it loses the stuff in a lawsuit from the entire population of the United States.
Caroll said it best:
“I think we’re going to find that this goes way beyond Facebook and that all sorts of things are being inferred about us and then used for political purposes.”
One thing is sure: It’s going to be very interesting to see how this whole thing plays out. This development could be another huge nail in the coffin that is closing on the Trump presidency. If it comes to light that Cambridge Analytica used the information to sway the American electorate, well, the shit is really going to hit the fan.
Feature Image via VisualHunt