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Overnight search of Cambridge Analytica's London office

24 March 2018

The data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica that is at the eye of an ongoing date breach scandal was searched Friday night after an official warrant had been granted.

Officers for the Information Commission continued their search of the Cambridge Analytica's offices in central London into the early hours of Saturday after a High Court judge granted a warrant. The watchdog is leading the probe with the backing of the European Union's remaining 27 regulators, who this week vowed to collaborate to get to the bottom of the "very serious allegation with far-reaching consequences".

In a notice that was issued on Friday by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Government has raised questions like- how it came to be in possession of user data, whether consent was obtained from the individuals concerned, and how such data collection was used.

Investigators from Britain's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) data watchdog raided late on Friday the London offices of Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm linked to allegations it improperly harvested Facebook data to target U.S. voters.

Investigators with Britain's information commissioner searched the London headquarters of Cambridge Analytica on Friday amid reports that the firm harvested the personal data of millions of Facebook users as part of a campaign to influence the USA 2016 presidential elections. Lawmakers in the US have also called on Zuckerberg to testify about how Facebook safeguards user data.

The so-called psychographic modelling techniques, which were built in part with the data harvested from Facebook, underpinned the company's work for then-Republican nominee and US President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016.

The Guardian reports that a former Cambridge Analytica business development director, Brittany Kaiser, said that the firm provided data analysis for Leave.EU.

It suspended its chief executive officer, Alexander Nix, this week after he was filmed bragging about dirty tricks the firm used to obtain information.

The ICO had tweeted that the operation was "just one part of a larger investigation into the use of personal data for political purposes and we will now need time to collect and consider the evidence".

It said the information was deleted at Facebook's request, and that it has been in touch with the U.K. ICO since February 2017.