Cambridge Analytica‘s London office was evacuated today after reports of a ‘suspicious package’.
Police have now confirmed that the package was not dangerous.
The Met confirmed that officers had been called to a building on New Oxford Street over the reports at 13.30 on Thursday.
The package was later deemed not the be suspicious.
Police responded to reports of a suspicious package at a building in New Oxford Street at 13:26hrs today. Officers attended. The package was assessed. It was deemed not to be suspicious. Police cordons have now been removed. The public are thanked for their cooperation.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2018
Video taken from a nearby office building showed emergency services accessing the area.
Pictures posted on Twitter showed police officers entering the building, and a cordon blocking off the surrounding streets.
— John Campbell (@johnpcampbell) March 22, 2018
— JozefP (@JozefPFurReal) March 22, 2018
I work opposite Cambridge Analytica. The road has just Bern cornered off due to a bomb threat or suspicious package or something like that pic.twitter.com/dUyuE0PZge
— Stu Collett (@gromitski) March 22, 2018
The tech company is currently at the centre of a scandal over its alleged harvesting and misuse of personal data.
A whistleblower claims that the company illegally obtained private information from tens of millions of Facebook profiles without consent and in violation of company policies.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 17, 2018
Questions have also been raised over whether this data was used to influence the outcome of the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election as US President.
The company’s CEO, Alexander Nix, has been suspended since the scandal broke.
Journalists at the Guardian had told Facebook in 2015 that Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University psychology researcher, had shared data from an app he had developed with CA, he said.
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Facebook immediately banned Dr Kogan’s app and demanded that he and CA delete the data, for which they provided “certifications” that they had, Zuckerberg said.
Last week, the social media giant was alerted by the Guardian, the New York Times and Channel 4 that CA may not have deleted the data as they had said.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m used to when people legally certify that they are going to do something, that they do it. But I think this was clearly a mistake in retrospect,” Mr Zuckerberg told CNN.
The personality survey created by Dr Kogan – who claims he has been made a “scapegoat” by Facebook and CA – was installed by around 300,000 people, Mr Zuckerberg said.
Facebook’s settings at the time allowed developers to access the personal data of not just the people who used their app, but of all of their friends as well – leading to information being gathered on tens of millions of people.