German privacy watchdog discontinues Cambridge Analytica case against Facebook

The German privacy watchdog of the state of Hamburg has dropped a case against Facebook announced in May due to statute of limitations. The case was brought after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light.

Heise writes that Johannes Caspar, the Hamburg privacy officer, already discontinued the case in August. A spokesperson for the regulator confirmed this to the site. The official explanation is that access to the data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal lasted until the end of May 2015. That is more than three years ago, which has caused statute of limitations. In addition, it would not be clear whether the Hamburg regulator was authorized to start a case against Facebook Ireland. The company has its European branch there.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal came out in March. Through a personality quiz conducted by a scientist, the company obtained data from 87 million Facebook users and used that data for targeted advertising in the United States presidential election. It was recently announced that an attack on Facebook had stolen ‘access tokens’ belonging to 50 million users, including an estimated 5 million EU citizens.