Posted on April 9, 2018 by staff

Facebook suspends Brexit data firm


A Canadian data firm used by the Vote Leave Brexit campaign has been suspended by Facebook over allegations that it may have improperly accessed users’ data.

The social media giant says AggregateIQ has been prevented from using its platform following reports that the business may be affiliated with SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

AggregateIQ, which played an important role in the UK’s European Union referendum, has been suspended while Facebook conducts an investigation.

“In light of recent reports that AggregateIQ may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received FB user data, we have added them to the list of entities we have suspended from our platform while we investigate,” a Facebook statement said.

“Our internal review continues, and we will cooperate fully with any investigations by regulatory authorities.”

AggregateIQ denies having ever had any ties with Cambridge Analytica or its parent company SCL.

In a statement on its website, the company said: “AggregateIQ works in full compliance within all legal and regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions where it operates.

“It has never knowingly been involved in any illegal activity. All work AggregateIQ does for each client is kept separate from every other client.

“AggregateIQ has never managed, nor did we ever have access to, any Facebook data or database allegedly obtained improperly by Cambridge Analytica.”

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica three weeks ago after the company’s improper use of data was brought to light.

Christopher Wylie, the Canadian whistleblower who broke the story, claimed that AggregateIQ was closely linked to Cambridge Analytica. He had reportedly also supplied documents to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee which he said proved it.

Last week Facebook confirmed that as many as 87 million profiles were pulled by Cambridge Analytica, including more one million British profiles.

GDPR will replace the Data Protection Act on May 25th, 2018. The new law will transform the way companies can collect and use personal data with maximum fines for offenders being a massive €20m or 4 per cent of the company’s global annual turnover.