Investigators raid Cambridge Analytica's London offices

Mary Guedon of the group Raging Grannies holds a sign as she protests in 2010 outside of the Facebook headquarters in California. Privacy advocates say it's too difficult to fully protect your privacy on Facebook

Investigators raid Cambridge Analytica's London offices

The U.K.'s privacy watchdog searched the offices of Cambridge Analytica amid allegations that information on millions of Facebook Inc.'s users was scooped up without their consent, widening a probe that cut the internet giant's share price more than 10 percent this week.

About 20 officials, wearing black jackets with "ICO Enforcement" on them, arrived at the firm's central London offices on Friday evening soon after a High Court judge granted a search warrant sought by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

In a statement Friday, an ICO spokesperson confirmed the warrant was being executed.

The scandal has spawned numerous lawsuits, and it has put significant pressure on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.

The lawsuit, filed by Matthew Lodowski, also targets Cambridge Analytica for its role in mining the private data.

Authorities in Britain as well as the United States are investigating Cambridge Analytica over allegations the firm improperly obtained data from 50 million Facebook users and used it to manipulate elections, including the 2016 White House race and the 2016 Brexit vote in Britain. "As you will expect, we will now need to collect, assess and consider the evidence before coming to any conclusions".

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Investigators from Britain's data watchdog searched the London offices of Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm at the center of a storm over a href="https://venturebeat.com/2018/03/20/facebook-and-mark-zuckerberg-face-investigations-over-cambridge-analytica-data-privacy-allegations/"allegations it improperly harvested Facebook data to target USA voters".

"While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn't change what happened in the past". Lawmakers in the US have also called on Zuckerberg to testify about how Facebook safeguards user data.

A movement called #DeleteFacebook is gathering momentum after Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla, joined those who want to get rid of their Facebook accounts.

Cambridge Analytica, best known for working on U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, is at the centre of an worldwide storm over privacy and political manipulation.

Facebook says the data in question was properly gathered a few years ago by psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan, who said he was using the data for academic purposes.

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