Cambridge Analytica’s Parent Company SCL in Troubled Waters

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

The parent company of the controversial data-mining scandal Cambridge Analytica, SCL Elections Ltd has pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge held on the 3rd of October, 2018 for ignoring the Information Commissioner’s Office.

They have been charged by UK data regulators due to failure of compliance with enforcement which is a violation under sections 47(1) and 60(2) of the Data Protection Act of 1998.

With a heated exchange of statements from the ICO and SCL, the UK regulator had served formal enforcement noticed on the 5th of May, 2018 which was allegedly ignored leading the regulator to lay a criminal charge in the courts.

SCL was charged with a crime under the pre-GDPR laws because the notice was issued on the first week of May – before the GDPR of the European Union became law in the United Kingdom through the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released a statement to the press saying, “The ICO is prosecuting SCL Elections for failing to comply with an enforcement notice. Proceedings began on 3 October 2018 when the company entered a not guilty plea. A trial has been set for 9 January 2019 to be heard at Hendon Magistrates’ Court.”

Section 47(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 states that anyone who fails to comply with an information notice is guilty of an offence. Section 47(3) states: “It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove that he exercised all due diligence to comply with the notice in question.”

How this is all going to end up for SC Elections Ltd will be determined when the trial comes to a close.