Cambridge Analytica Hits Back At Zuckerberg During Testimony

Robert Donachie | Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

British data firm Cambridge Analytica responded to comments during Facebook CEO and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing Tuesday that the firm hacked or stole Facebook user information before the 2016 presidential election.

“We did not hack Facebook or break any laws — SCL Elections licensed data from a research company called GSR which obtained the data via a tool provided by Facebook, a common practice at the time,” Cambridge Analytica tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Facebook discovered Cambridge Analytica obtained user information from an app developer in 2015, Zuckerberg told Senate lawmakers Tuesday afternoon. The company took immediate action to take down the app, contact both Cambridge Analytica and the developer and asked that Cambridge Analytica delete the data, the Facebook CEO said.

Cambridge Analytica legally obtained the data from a research company — SCL Elections — that obtained Facebook user data from a tool provided to the company from Facebook, the data firm said Tuesday.

“We did not hack Facebook or break any laws — SCL Elections licensed data from a research company called GSR which obtained the data via a tool provided by Facebook, a common practice at the time,” Cambridge Analytica tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

“SCL Elections licensed 30M records on US citizens from GSR. Once Facebook told us that their terms of services had been broken, we deleted all the GSR data and its derivatives, and certified this to Facebook. An independent audit is being conducted to verify this,” Cambridge Analytica tweeted Tuesday.

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica in late March for violating a contractual agreement that required the firm to remove certain pertinent user information collected through an app. Cambridge Analytica was provided the personal Facebook data of roughly 87 million users.

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