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The Canadian data firm AggregateIQ (AIQ) has the dubious honour of being the first to receive a GDPR warning. The British Information Commissioner Office (ICO) accuses the company of processing people’s data for purposes they did not expect.

According to the BBC, AIQ has protested and is appealing against the accusation. With regard to the activities of AIQ, the BBC writes that the company was hired by the Vote Leave campaign, among other things. They wanted Britain to leave the European Union and paid AIQ 3.6 million dollars to get that message across to Facebook users. Other groups also used the services of AIQ, including BeLeave and the Veterans for Britain.

Processing of data

The ICO states that despite the fact that the data was collected before 25 May 2018 – the day GDPR entered into force – it was concerned about the continued storage and processing of the data after that data. This means that GDPR does apply to the way in which AIQ has processed the relevant data.

AIQ is further linked to Cambridge Analytica, a company that came into disrepute after it had collected data on more than fifty million Facebook users. These data were used to influence the American Presidential elections of 2016.

When the Cambridge Analytica scandal was widely in the media, whistleblower Chris Wylie stated that AIQ was the Canadian division of Cambridge Analytica. That accusation is denied by AIQ, which states that it is entirely in Canadian hands. Nevertheless, Facebook decided to ban AIQ from its platform, just like Cambridge Analytica.

Finally, an AIQ spokesman stated that the company had lodged an appeal against the ICO’s warning.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.