Suspended Cambridge Analytica CEO To Appear Before UK Parliamentary Committee

Suspended Cambridge Analytica CEO To Appear Before UK Parliamentary Committee

On March 23, the government issued a notice to political marketing firm Cambridge Analytica seeking details of an alleged data breach and attempts to influence election outcomes.

He also described as "categorically untrue" claims that Cambridge Analytica had never used Facebook data, using the app, which had been the "foundational data set of the company".

The news comes as Facebook has seen a backlash in the wake of the reported Cambridge Analytica data breach. Trump's campaign hired Cambridge Analytica in June 2016 and paid it more than US$6.2 million.

Cambridge Analytica has denied providing Aggregate IQ with the data it gathered, reportedly harvested through a personality quiz developed by the company Global Science Research.

During a lengthy session in which MPs from across the political spectrum on the culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee quizzed Wylie, he provided a snapshot of the work carried out by the firms, now in the spotlight, highlighting how data captured enabled them to build up psychological profiles of individuals who would be particularly susceptible to forms of certain tactics. Vote Leave "pretended" to give BeLeave the money, which had "no control over it", Sanni told the Observer over the weekend.

The Indian government had earlier taken note of the controversy.

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Aggregate IQ has long maintained its independence from Cambridge Analytica and the SCL Group - but Wylie insisted that Aggregate IQ, while not owned by Cambridge Analytica, held the licence to the intellectual property that formed the basis of Cambridge Analytica's software, and effectively operated as an "internal entity" that were kept at arms-length for purposes of political expediency.

Cambridge Analytica was in many ways like any other data analysis firm - they processed raw information to build a picture of sections of a population, producing insights into consumer or voter behaviour for those willing to pay. Aggregate IQ then allegedly used that data to build the Ripon software, the election software platform that was also used in the US presidential election. The scandal has hit Facebook's financial standing hard as well, with the company's stock declining in the wake of the scandal. When CEO Mark Zuckerberg eventually addressed the crisis, he vowed to implement measures to better protect users' data. "I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again".

A powerful U.S. watchdog agency, the Federal Trade Commission, said it would investigate Facebook, a probe that carries the potential for steep fines and other penalties on the social media giant.

On Twitter, Cooper Hefner, Playboy's chief creative officer and son of late founder Hugh Hefner, said Facebook continues to be "sexually repressed", and that its content guidelines and corporate policies continue to contradict its values.

An appearance by Zuckerberg before Congress would indicate the company is bowing to pressure at home in the most serious crisis in its 14-year history. A parliamentary panel on IT has asked ministry officials to appear before it on April 6 and respond to queries on "citizens data security and privacy", BJP lawmaker and chairman of the committee Anurag Thakur said.

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