Cambridge Analytica/Facebook Case - No Charges

Investigation discontinued with no further action

Date posted: 16 Jan 2022




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Case start date

02 Mar 2020



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Case study summary

We represented the COO of data company Cambridge Analytica. He was investigated for the alleged misuse of personal data obtained from Facebook in order to influence the 2016 US Presidential Elections. After pressure from our lawyers for over a year, the investigation was dropped.

Case study

Our client was Julian Wheatland, chief operating officer of election intelligence consultancy Cambridge Analytica during the period of the 2016 US Election and the 2016 Brexit vote.

He had no political affiliations, and as COO, he had no involvement in the technology or product side of Cambridge Analytica's work.

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (the ICO), began an investigation into the alleged misuse of data obtained by Cambridge Analytica in the US Election and UK Brexit vote. To understand the workings and management structure of Cambridge Analytica better, the ICO asked for our client's assistance. However, despite his complete lack of involvement in the services that Cambridge Analytica provided, the ICO refused for over a year to rule him out of criminal liability. We protected our client from cooperating with the ICO until he was given assurances that he would be treated as a witness and not a suspect.

Towards the end of the investigation, Facebook agreed to pay a $500,000 fine to the ICO.

The investigation against our client was dropped, and he subsequently assisted the inquiry as a witness, even appearing in the award-winning Netflix documentary The Great Hack.

Profile image of Mary Monson Solicitors criminal lawyer Joseph Kotrie-Monson

Joseph advises in serious crime, fraud and regulatory cases nationally and internationally. He is listed in the Chambers and Partners legal directory under Band 1 for Financial Crime and edits the textbook Cyber Crime Law & Practice.

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