The Latest: Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO pending probe
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the alleged use of personal Facebook data by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica (all times local):
The board of Cambridge Analytica says it has suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending a full independent investigation of his actions.
The board cited comments Nix made to an undercover reporter for Britain’s Channel 4 News and other allegations of wrongdoing for its action Tuesday.
It said his comments “do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view the violation.”
The board said in an announcement posted on the data mining company’s website that the suspension was effective immediately.
A British TV news program is airing more footage from the secretly recorded meeting one of its reporters had with Cambridge Analytica chief Alexander Nix.
Channel 4 News broadcast clips Tuesday that show Nix saying his data mining firm played a major role in securing Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including “all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting.”
Nix also said Cambridge Analytica used emails set with a “self-destruct timer” during the Trump campaign to make its role more difficult to trace.
He said: “There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing.”
The program says Nix made the comments to a reporter posing as a wealthy potential client seeking to use Cambridge Analytica to influence campaigns in Sri Lanka.
Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by British officials for its handling of Facebook users’ personal data.
A British parliamentary committee has asked Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, to give evidence into an investigation into fake news.
The request comes amid reports that a U.K.-based company allegedly used Facebook data to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. The company, Cambridge Analytica, has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts. It denies wrongdoing.
The chairman of the U.K. parliamentary media committee, Damian Collins, said Tuesday that his group has repeatedly asked Facebook how it uses data and that Facebook officials “have been misleading to the committee.”
Collins says it “is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process.”
Addressing Zuckerberg directly, Collins adds: “I hope this representative will be you.”
Britain’s information commissioner says she is using all her legal powers to investigate the handling of personal data by Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.
Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s servers. The company allegedly used data mined from Facebook to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.
She told BBC on Tuesday she is also investigating Facebook and has asked Facebook not to pursue its own audit of Cambridge Analytica’s data use. She says Facebook has agreed.
Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way.
Chris Wylie, who once worked for Cambridge Analytica, was quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories.