SCL Elections, parent company of UK-based data company Cambridge Analytica, has been fined £15,000 ($19,000) for the failure to respond to a US citizens' request to obtain data that the SCL Elections had on the citizen.
The breach of the Data Protection Act stems from a 2017 request that the citizen, David Carroll, a US academic professor, filed with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) against SCL, the Guardian reported.
According to a tweet by Carroll, he filed the request with ICO on July 4, 2017, on May 5, 2018, the ICO issued the enforcement notice to comply and on January 9, 2019, SCL pleaded guilty to the charges.
July 4, 2017: I filed with the UK Information Commissioner with concerns about Cambridge Analytica’s failure to answer questions about our data
May 5, 2018: ICO issues Enforcement Notice to comply with disclosure requests under criminal penalty
Jan 9, 2019: CA/SCL pleads guilty
— David Carroll (@profcarroll) January 9, 2019
Elizabeth Denham, UK Information Commissioner, commented: "This prosecution, the first against Cambridge Analytica, is a warning that there are consequences for ignoring the law.
"Wherever you live in the world, if your data is being processed by a UK company, UK data protection laws apply. Organizations that handle personal data must respect people's legal privacy rights. Where that does not happen and companies ignore ICO enforcement notices, we will take action," Denham said.
Ravi Naik, Carroll's solicitor said SCL's guilty plea was "welcome and a vindication of the position we've taken". He added that the company's position that Carroll had no more right to request his data than a member of the Taliban had "been proven conclusively wrong".
In May 2018, when the Cambridge Analytica scandal first came to light it was revealed that Facebook had shared the data of 50 million Facebook users with the company without their consent.