SCL Elections, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, has been fined about $19,000 for not answering an American citizen’s request for data the company held on him.
The Guardian reported that SCL Elections pleaded guilty to breaking the Data Protection Act by not following an enforcement notice from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) during a hearing at Hendon Magistrates’ Court in Britain.
The company has been under administration (taken under the management of a court-appointed administrator) since May of last year, when its data scandal with Facebook was uncovered by a whistleblower and it came out that the company had been harvesting data from millions of users for political purposes.
The citizen, a man named David Carroll, asked for a copy of the data the company held on him early in 2017. The company gave him some basic information and a document that had political predictions about him. Carroll then asked for more: He wanted to know why and how the predictions were made, where the information was coming from and all the details of who had his information.
The company denied his request and he went to the ICO, which ordered SCL to hand over the information. They again refused to do so, saying that since Carroll was not a U.K. citizen, he had no more right to his information “than a member of the Taliban sitting in a cave in Afghanistan.”
Carroll, who still hasn’t received the requested information, is also bringing civil charges against the company.
A judge fined the company for failing to comply, and also mandated that it pay about $8,000 for ICO’s legal fees, and a $220 victim surcharge.
Carroll’s lawyer, Ravi Naik, said the plea by SCL was “very welcome and a vindication of the position we’ve taken.” Naik also said the company was proven “conclusively wrong” that Carroll had no more right to his data than a member of the Taliban.