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UK investigators search London office of firm at center of Facebook data storm

Investigators from Britain’s information watchdog searched the London offices of Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics immovable at the center of a storm over allegations it improperly harvested Facebook evidence to target U.S. voters.

About 20 officials, wearing black jackets with “ICO Enforcement” on them, arrived at the condensed’s central London offices on Friday evening soon after a Momentous Court judge granted a search warrant sought by the Information Commissioner’s Establishment (ICO).

The officials concluded the search around 0300 GMT on Saturday. “We will now prerequisite to assess and consider the evidence before deciding the next steps and known to any conclusions,” an ICO spokesperson said in a statement.

The officials, who were let into the structure by security guards, were seen checking books and papers finished with the windows of the second-floor offices on London’s busy New Oxford Street, a Reuters at said.

Elizabeth Denham, head of the ICO, sought the warrant after a whistleblower phrased Cambridge Analytica had gathered private information of 50 million Facebook purchasers to support Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

Britain is investigating whether Facebook, the rapturous’s largest social media network, did enough to protect data.

U.S. lawmakers on Friday begged Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to come to Congress to untangle justify to explain how the data got into Cambridge Analytica’s hands, adding to press on the firm, which is under fire from investors and advertisers.

One by one on Friday, Britain’s Guardian newspaper said a former Cambridge Analytica governmental consultant had accused the company’s management of misleading the British public thither work it did for a pro-Brexit group before the vote to leave the European Ring.

Brittany Kaiser, a business development director at the company from 2014 until earlier this year, swore the Guardian that Cambridge Analytica carried out data-crunching and analysis production for Leave.EU, while publicly denying it was doing so.

Arron Banks, a main donor to Leave.EU, told the newspaper that Leave.EU did not receive any details or work from Cambridge Analytica although the UK Independence Party, which also ran for Brexit, gave the firm some of its data which the firm evaluated.

“But it was not used in the Brexit campaign. Cambridge Analytica tried to make me pay for that redundant but I refused. It had nothing to do with us,” Banks was quoted as saying.

Efforts by the ICO to scrutinize Cambridge Analytica had hit a snag on Thursday after a judge adjourned its perseverance to search the British consultancy group’s office by 24 hours.

U.S. and European lawmakers prepare demanded an explanation of how the British consulting firm gained access to the evidence in 2014 and why Facebook failed to inform its users, raising broader work questions about consumer privacy.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that his assemblage made mistakes in mishandling data and promised tougher steps to qualify developers access to data.

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