As the fallout of data firm Cambridge Analytica continues, a United Kingdom data privacy watchdog group has ordered that the company cede all of the personal information it collected from an American professor back to him, noting that even non-British citizens have the right to seek and obtain data held by a British firm.
The Commissioner doesn't agree, and warned that failure to comply with the order "is a criminal offence, punishable in the courts by an unlimited fine".
Additionally, parallel bankruptcy proceedings will soon be commenced on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and certain of the Company's USA affiliates in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of NY.
"This should solve a lot of mysteries about what the company did with data and where it got it from", Carroll told the Guardian.
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The firm was accused of improperly obtaining personal information on behalf of political clients.According to Facebook, data of up to 87 million of its users was harvested by a quiz app and then passed on to the political consultancy.The social network said its own probe into the matter would continue, the BBC reported.
The decision paves the way for tens of millions of Americans to demand the return of their personal data under British data protection laws. While the original data was deleted, Cambridge Analytica kept derivatives of that data.
Cambridge Analytica had also tried to deny the regulator's jurisdiction.
'Prof Carroll was not satisfied that he had been given all of the personal data held about him, nor an adequate explanation of where it had been obtained from or how it would be used, and complained to the ICO, which subsequently wrote to the data controller in September 2017, sharing his concerns'.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said the company "has consistently refused to cooperate with our investigation".