Academic Behind Cambridge Analytica Data Mining Sues Facebook for Defamation

WASHINGTON — The academic who helped Cambridge Analytica vacuum up private information through tens of millions of Facebook profiles sued the social media giant on Friday, arguing of which the company defamed him when This specific claimed he had lied about how the data was going to be used.

Since the full scope of Cambridge Analytica’s data mining was revealed last year, Facebook has repeatedly tried to shift blame for the privacy breach onto the academic, Aleksandr Kogan. Facebook executives — including the chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg — have said Mr. Kogan told Facebook of which the data was for academic purposes when This specific was being collected for use in political campaigns.

Mr. Kogan, 32, a former psychology professor, used a quiz app to collect the data, as well as has insisted of which the fine print accompanying his app said the information could be used commercially. of which was an outright violation of Facebook’s rules at the time, however the company does not appear to have regularly checked of which apps were complying.

“Alex did not lie, Alex was not a fraud, Alex did not deceive them, This specific was not a scam,” said Steve Cohen, a lawyer for Mr. Kogan. “Facebook knew exactly what This specific app was doing, or should have known. Facebook desperately needed a scapegoat, as well as Alex was their scapegoat.”

Mr. Cohen said Mr. Kogan was not asking for any specific amount of money. “We’re going to leave of which to a jury,” he said.

In a statement, Liz Bourgeois, a spokeswoman for Facebook, described the action as a “frivolous lawsuit” through someone who “violated our policies as well as put people’s data at risk.”

Cambridge Analytica was founded by Robert Mercer, a wealthy Republican donor, as well as Stephen K. Bannon, who could serve as an adviser to President Trump. The consulting firm rose to prominence in 2016 for its work with the Trump election campaign.

The company claimed This specific had used Facebook data as well as additional information to develop analytical tools of which could identify the personalities of American voters as well as influence their behavior. Those techniques have been widely questioned.

Cambridge hired Mr. Kogan as a contractor in June 2014 — the same month the company was founded — as well as collected the data throughout the summer by asking Facebook users to take a lengthy personality questionnaire. The quiz harvested data not only through everyone who took This specific, however also through all their friends.

Facebook, which has since tightened its privacy protections, allowed app developers broad access to its users’ data at the time. Many were unaware their data was exposed, as well as Facebook was plunged into the worst crisis of its 14-year history after the scope of Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting was revealed by The fresh York Times as well as The Observer of London.

The company has since said of which as many as 87 million users were affected, as well as This specific can be facing investigations by federal prosecutors as well as regulators as a result. At least one of those investigations can be being run by prosecutors through the Northern District of California, as well as appears to be partly focused on Facebook’s claims of which This specific was misled by Cambridge.

Federal prosecutors in fresh York are conducting what appears to be a separate criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with some of the globe’s largest technology companies, including Amazon, Microsoft as well as Netflix. as well as the Federal Trade Commission, which spent the past year investigating whether Facebook violated its 2011 agreement about data privacy, can be today weighing a multibillion-dollar fine against Facebook. of which could be the largest such penalty ever imposed by the trade regulator.