Schiff invites professor accused of harvesting Facebook data to testify

Schiff invites professor accused of harvesting Facebook data to testify
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBiden to keep Wray as FBI director Biden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis Angus King warns of 'grave danger' of Trump revealing classified information MORE (Calif.), said Wednesday he has formally invited Aleksandr Kogan, a researcher who provided Facebook data on millions of people to Cambridge Analytica, to testify before his committee.

As many as 50 million Facebook users reportedly had their profiles mined for data without their permission by Cambridge Analytica ahead of the 2016 election.

"We have reached out to Aleksandr Kogan. And I don’t think we’ve heard back yet, but we would hope that he would testify as well," Schiff said.

Kogan, a Cambridge University psychology professor, ran Global Science Research, a firm that provided the data to Cambridge Analytica. Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower from the firm, said that Kogan had worked with Cambridge Analytica in obtaining the data.

Kogan has said he is a scapegoat in the scandal and claimed to not have known that the data was being used to target voters.

Schiff requested that, in addition to appearing before the committee, Kogan also provide “communications and correspondence with Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group” as well as “[CEO] Alexander Nix, Christopher Wylie, [former Trump campaign chairman Stephen] Bannon," and other staffers.

Schiff has said plans for Wylie to testify are “still being nailed down.”

On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC | Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review | Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review Facebook has no current plan to end the Trump suspension MORE addressed the controversy for the first time, acknowledging the company had "made mistakes."

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again,” Zuckerberg said.

Olivia Beavers contributed.