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Inquiry into use of data

Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO in Facebook row

FacebookThe company accused of inappropriately using data harvested from Facebook has suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix.

His suspension follows an undercover recording by Channel 4 television of him discussing the firm’s work for Donald Trump’s election campaign.

It appears to suggest that his company could use a number of tactics to undermine politicians online.

In a statement, Cambridge Analytica’s board said: “Mr. Nix’s recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation.

“We have asked Dr. Alexander Tayler to serve as acting CEO while an independent investigation is launched to review those comments and allegations.

We have asked Julian Malins QC to lead this investigation, the findings of which the Board will share publicly in due course.

The Board will be monitoring the situation closely, working closely with Dr. Tayler, to ensure that Cambridge Analytica, in all of its operations, represents the firm’s values and delivers the highest-quality service to its clients.

Elizabeth Denham, the head of the Information Commission, is seeking a warrant to search the offices of the London-based consultancy after a whistleblower claimed it was hired to access information on 50 million Facebook users to sway public opinion.

Ms Denham told a radio station: “We are looking at whether or not Facebook secured and safeguarded personal information on the platform and whether when they found out about the loss of the data they acted robustly and whether or not people were informed.”

Questions are being asked on both sides of the Atlantic about Facebook’s governance and why it failed to inform its users.

The Commons cross-party media committee has asked the company’s CEO Zuckerberg for clarification, while the US Federal Trade Commission was reported by Bloomberg to be investigating the company whose shares fell amid growing privacy concerns.


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