'FAR MORE' than 87 million Facebook users likely had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, according to a former employee.
Earlier this month, Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer penned a blog post admitting that as many as 87 million users may have had their data taken, up from the previous estimate of 50 million.
However, ex-Cambridge Analytica staffer Brittany Kaiser has this week claimed that this number is likely much higher, noting that Aleksander Kogan's 'This Is Your Digital Life' app was just one of a number of data-grabbing personality quizzes that took aim at the social network.
In written evidence given to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS), Kaiser wrote: "The Kogan/GSR datasets and questionnaires were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica used.
"I am aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners, usually with a Facebook login - for example, the 'sex compass' quiz.
"I do not know the specifics of these surveys or how the data was acquired or processed. But I believe it is almost certain that the number of Facebook users whose data was compromised through routes similar to that used by Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities."
During a hearing on Tuesday, the committee's chairman, Damian Collins, sought to clarify the statement.
"The purpose of the survey was to gather this information, and that by completing it with your Facebook login, Cambridge Analytica also gets access to your data?" Collins asked.
"I believe that was the point of the quizzes in the first place, yes," Kaiser replied.
In response to these latest claims, Facebook said in a statement: "We are currently investigating all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014.
"We will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected."
During Tuesday's hearing, Collins also revealed that former Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix, who had been due to appear before MPs on Wednesday, had cancelled his appearance.
"His legal representation has said that he's now not able to give evidence to the committee tomorrow, as a consequence of him having been served an information notice, and being subject to a criminal investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office," he said. µ
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