A former Cambridge Analytica employee said Monday that the data firm met with former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey LewandowskiNew Trump super PAC formed after accusations of misconduct The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats still at odds over Biden agenda Noem severs ties with Lewandowski after harassment allegations surface MORE in 2015, before President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE declared his candidacy.
Christopher Wylie, a self-described whistleblower on the company’s data harvesting practices, told NBC’s “Today” that he left Cambridge Analytica before it formally teamed up with the Trump campaign.
However, he said the company had been in talks with the campaign before Trump announced his candidacy, including a meeting with Lewandowski.
Cambridge Analytica was suspended from Facebook on Friday after reports it had not fully deleted data it obtained from Cambridge University professor Aleksandr Kogan.
The professor was found to have harvested more than 50 million Facebook profiles from his app, which required a Facebook login, despite only 270,000 giving permission for their data to be harvested, according to a New York Times report Saturday.
About 30 million of the profiles Kogan gave Cambridge Analytica had enough information to create psychographic profiles, the newspaper reported.
Wylie claimed Sunday that he was suspended from Facebook for shedding light on the practices.
Asked Monday if he had any political motivation to speak about Cambridge Analytica’s practices, Wylie said he thinks the issue should not be politicized.
“I think what’s really important for people to understand is that this company misappropriated data from upwards of 50 million people from Facebook,” he said.
“We need to step back for a second and depoliticize this because this is about the safety of Americans and the integrity of the American democratic process,” he added.