Cambridge Analytica co-founder Christopher Wylie said on Saturday that the number of people affected by his company’s data breach could be higher than Facebook’s estimates of 87 million.
When asked by “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd if 87 million is on the high end of the number of people whose profiles were accessed, Wylie said, “it could be higher.”
Wylie said that once data leaves a database, it's a “fungible thing” that can be endlessly copied so it is “very difficult to verify” what has happened to the data.
His comments come a few days after Facebook said that as many as 87 million people had been affected by Cambridge Analytica’s data scandal. The British data firm, which was used by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, harvested data from millions of Facebook users without their permission.
After Facebook announced the 87 million figure, the British firm said in a statement that it had licensed data for no more than 30 million people and reiterated that it did not use the data during the 2016 presidential election.
Wylie told Todd that the data they had could have been accessed by a few people, “including Russia.” He noted that the professor who provided the data firm with the Facebook profiles was traveling between the U.K. and Russia.
Previous estimates said that Cambridge Analytica had harvested data from about 50 million Facebook users, of which less than 250,000 had given permission for their data to be harvested.
Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergSenators to grill Instagram chief over platform's effect on children Rohingya refugees sue Facebook for 0B Hillicon Valley — Amazon draws COVID scrutiny MORE will testify in front of a congressional panel next week about how his company’s handling of data and the fallout that followed the Cambridge Analytica scandal.