Ex-Cambridge Analytica boss admits getting Facebook data from researcher

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LONDON (Reuters) – The previous head of Cambridge Analytica admitted on Wednesday his agency had obtained information from the researcher on the heart of a scandal over Fb customers’ private particulars, contradicting earlier testimony to lawmakers.

Cambridge Analytica, which was employed by Donald Trump in 2016, has denied its work on the U.S. president’s profitable election marketing campaign made use of knowledge allegedly improperly harvested from round 87 million Fb customers.

Former chief Alexander Nix, in earlier testimony to parliament’s media committee, additionally denied the political consultancy had ever been given information by Aleksandr Kogan, the researcher linked to the scandal.

On Wednesday he mentioned it had obtained information from Kogan.

“In fact, the reply to this query ought to have been ‘sure,’” Nix mentioned, including that he thought he was being requested if Cambridge Analytica nonetheless held information from the researcher.

He denied intentionally deceptive British lawmakers and mentioned the corporate had deleted the information, which had been of no use.

The committee is investigating faux information, and specializing in the position of Cambridge Analytica and Fb within the 2016 Brexit vote in addition to the Trump election.

In prolonged, and sometimes testy, questioning by lawmakers, Nix apologized for an undercover movie during which he mentioned Cambridge Analytica’s on-line marketing campaign performed a decisive position in Trump’s election win.

However he defended the now-defunct consultancy’s popularity and mentioned he felt victimized.

Cambridge Analytica mentioned after the movie was broadcast by Channel Four tv in March that the feedback didn’t “signify the values or operations of the agency.”

Lawmakers requested Nix to return to face questions on inconsistencies in his proof.

Kogan had advised lawmakers he did give Cambridge Analytica the information.

Alexander Nix, former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, arrives at an annex of the Homes of Parliament to look earlier than the Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport Committee in London, Britain June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Fb says Kogan harvested it by creating an app on the platform that was downloaded by 270,000 folks, offering entry not solely to their very own but additionally their buddies’ private information.

Fb mentioned Kogan then violated its insurance policies by passing the information to Cambridge Analytica.

EMBARRASSED BUT VINDICATED

Nix apologized for his feedback within the movie, saying he had been silly and had made exaggerated claims with a view to entice what he thought was a possible consumer.

“It’s not solely deeply embarrassing, however it’s one thing I remorse enormously,” he mentioned.

Nix mentioned that Channel Four had closely edited the footage to painting him in a worse gentle. “All Mr Nix’s feedback carried in our stories have been utilized in context, together with any caveats,” the broadcaster mentioned in a press release.

On different issues, Nix was much less apologetic.

He mentioned that he was vindicated in saying Cambridge Analytica had not been concerned within the Brexit marketing campaign by a report by the Electoral Fee, and that whistleblower Christopher Wylie had lied in regards to the consultancy’s involvement in Brexit.

Wylie had advised the committee that Cambridge Analytica performed a pivotal position within the marketing campaign.

On Wednesday he advised Channel 4: “I really backed up every little thing I mentioned with paperwork. I’m fairly snug standing by the statements that I made.”

FILE PHOTO: Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica arrives on the workplaces of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photograph

Nix denied a narrative within the Monetary Instances that he had withdrawn $eight million from Cambridge Analytica earlier than its collapse final month.

Requested a couple of Guardian report {that a} Cambridge Analytica worker visited Wikileaks founder Julian Assange within the Ecuadorian embassy in 2017, he mentioned he had been unaware of the assembly.

Enhancing by Stephen Addison and John Stonestreet

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