Schiff asks Cambridge Analytica whistleblower to testify
The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee has invited Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie to testify as part of the Democrats’ investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
In a letter sent to Wylie on Monday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Democrats want to interview Wylie and request that he present the documents that have evidence of the data firm’s wrongdoing.
“The Committee’s Minority is seeking testimony from the whistleblower about the reported misappropriation of private data, as well as information to determine where the data was stored, how it was used, and whether third parties accessed and exploited the information, including in Russia,” Schiff wrote.
Wylie recently alleged that Cambridge Analytica had illegally obtained the private information of more than 50 million people from Aleksandr Kogan, a University of Cambridge professor.
Kogan had gathered the information through an app he created that required a Facebook login. However, only 270,000 people had given permission for their data to be collected through the app.
In 2015, Facebook discovered that the firm had violated its privacy policies and demanded that it provide certification that it had destroyed all of its gathered data. The firm provided the certification but, on Friday, Facebook suspended the firm after it discovered the data was not deleted and instead given to Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook has come under scrutiny once again for their role in this privacy breach.
On Monday, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing to question major technology companies about privacy concerns.
Wylie claims that Facebook suspended him shortly after the reports about the data were published. He claims the company knew of the data breach for two years.
Cambridge Analytica was used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 elections. The firm’s CEO has reportedly been interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly requested all of the emails between the Trump campaign and the firm as part of his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The data firm has ties to former White House adviser Stephen Bannon and was funded by Robert Mercer, a billionaire conservative donor.