Researcher at center of Cambridge Analytica scandal to testify before Senate

Researcher at center of Cambridge Analytica scandal to testify before Senate
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A researcher at the center of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal will testify before a Senate panel next week.

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Aleksandr Kogan, a former Cambridge Analytica contractor who is said to have harvested data on 87 million Facebook users ultimately obtained by the British research firm, is set to appear before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee's subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security on Tuesday.

The hearing will focus the on data privacy risks that Cambridge Analytica’s relationship with Facebook and other data sharing partnerships with social media companies can pose to consumers.

Facebook has said Kogan harvested data on users via an app on the platform in which users consented to give their up their data and the data of their friends. Kogan allegedly provided this information to Cambridge Analytica, against Facebook's rules for the use of such data.

Cambridge Analytica and its parent firm, SCL, declared bankruptcy in the wake of the scandal. The British research firm had been hired by 2016 presidential candidates including the Trump campaign and counted Stephen Bannon as one of its board members.

Facebook has also been intensely criticized in the fallout. Lawmakers have blasted it for being cavalier with user data and not doing enough to make sure that Cambridge Analytica actually deleted the data after it first became aware of the issue in 2015.

Lawmakers have already brought in Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits Warren targets Facebook with ad claiming Zuckerberg supports Trump MORE and former Cambridge Analytica employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie to testify on the matter.

Kogan had spoken in front of British lawmakers about the data scandal in April.

The researcher has defended his actions in the way of the scandal and has considered suing Facebook for defamation.