ICO puts Aggregate IQ notice

The UK’s privacy regulator, the ICO, has given a formal notice to a Canadian firm embroiled in questions over Vote Leave’s use of data during the EU Referendum.

Although most of the allegations aimed at how Aggregate IQ and the use of data relate to a period before May 25 this year and are not therefore potentially subject to a fine under GDPR, the ICO is reportedly concerned about how the data continues to be used.

Aggregate IQ was in fact paid by over £2.5 million by Vote Leave to help it target ads.

Vote Leave has been fined for the way it used personal data and the Electoral Commission said it broke the electoral law.

The entire saga occurred during the Brexit campaign almost two years before the GDPR became enforceable. But the ICO told the BBC that the “continued retention and processing” was concerning it.

Vote Leave’s campaign manager, Dominic Cummings once said of AggregateIQ and its role in the Brexit campaign: “We couldn’t have done it without them.” And AggregateIQ itself splashed those words over its website. That was before the issue of manipulating data to help influence a political campaign was brought to the public’s attention.

Facebook suspended AggregateIQ earlier this year.

Zack Massingham, the CEO of AggregateIQ once said: “When things are digital you can be more empirical and control the timing. The world of advertising agencies and PR companies were sure we had screwed up because they did not see what we were doing.”

He said that Vote Leave won the referendum because it “appreciated and embraced technology”.


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