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Judge to hear bid to gain access to Cambridge Analytica systems

The Information Commissioner’s Office is pursuing its application for a warrant.

A judge is to consider the Information Commissioner’s application for a warrant relating to Cambridge Analytica.

Elizabeth Denham wants access to records and data in the hands of the London-based company amid claims that Facebook data may have been illegally acquired and used on behalf of political clients.

Both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook deny any wrongdoing.

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Chris Ratcliffe/PA)

The move follows the issue of a demand for access, on March 7 , to which there was no response by the deadline provided.

“Therefore, we are seeking a warrant to obtain information and access to systems and evidence related to our investigation,” said Ms Denham.

She added: “A full understanding of the facts, data flows and data uses is imperative for my ongoing investigation.

“This includes any new information, statements or evidence that have come to light in recent days.”

The probe into the use of personal data for political campaigns includes the acquisition and use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, its parent company SCL Group and academic Dr Aleksandr Kogan,  who developed the app used to gather data, she said.

“This is a complex and far-reaching investigation for my office and any criminal or civil enforcement actions arising from it will be pursued vigorously.”

The proceedings stem from claims over the harvesting of personal data – and whether it was used during Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign or the Brexit referendum.

Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive Alexander Nix has been suspended while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been called on to give evidence to MPs in person.

The hearing at the High Court on Friday is before Judge Leonard.

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