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Cambridge Analytica figure to testify about Facebook breach

Cambridge Analytica figure to testify about Facebook breach

A Senate Commerce Committee panel plans to call a former Cambridge Analytica contractor at the center of a scandal involving the use of data from millions of Facebook users, a committee source told Reuters on Thursday.

The panel’s subcommittee on consumer protection, product safety, insurance, and data security will hold a hearing next Tuesday on data privacy risks focusing on Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy, and other Facebook partners, the committee announced Wednesday.

The session follows hearings in April with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and will focus “on the collection and use of social media data, the privacy concerns raised in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal, and potential steps to protect consumers,” the committee said.

The committee will call Aleksandr Kogan, a contractor for Cambridge Analytica, to testify, a source briefed on the matter said. A lawyer for Kogan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook said in April that the personal information of up to 87 million users, mostly in the US, may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. The London-based consultancy’s clients included President Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

Facebook says Kogan harvested the data by creating an app on the social media network that was downloaded by 270,000 people, providing access not only to their own personal data but also data from their friends. Facebook said Kogan then violated its policies by passing the data to Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica disputed Facebook’s estimate of how many users were affected.

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