Cambridge Analytica’s moves on harvesting personal data of millions of Facebook users has not only prompted lawsuits over privacy concerns, and it’s there’s also a legal battle starting over its role in the US elections.
According to ABC News, they learned that the watchdog Common Cause has filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department. In the complaints, they allege that Cambridge Analytica has broken federal election laws that ban foreigners from participating in the strategies of US political campaigns.
Per Common Cause, they say that Cambridge Analytica ignored warnings to avoid involvement in American political committees and provided its Facebook user data to help target campaign efforts that included the presidential runs of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. The complaint references a New York Times story where they documented an attorney’s July 22, 2014 memo to Steve Bannon, GOP donor Rebekah Mercer and Cambridge Analytica chief Alexander Nix warning against using foreign involvement in their political strategy. They were allowed to collect and process data, but had to have the US citizens to interpret the data.
Cambridge Analytica has not provided any details or comment on the election complaints. Though, they have denied doing anything illegal by using an app billed as an academic tool to collecting information of over 50 million people without their consent.