Facebook misled British lawmakers about what it knew about the data shared with Cambridge Analytica, a British lawmaker said Thursday.
In February, Simon Milner, who was Facebook’s U.K. head of policy at the time, told officials that Cambridge Analytica did not have any Facebook data.
“I think Facebook concealed the truth from us in February,” Ian Lucas, member of parliament (MP) representing the opposition Labour Party, told Mike Schroepfer, the social network’s CTO, at a parliamentary hearing on fake news.
Schroepfer said that he could not vouch for Milner, but that what was said at the time was accurate.
“It was accurate because we didn’t think Cambridge Analytica had data and we had not given them data,” Schroepfer said. “So the problem that has come up since then is the idea that they still retain data which, to this day, I still have not had eyes on a single piece of data there so I don’t know for sure. But if this is true and they do have the data, this is the problem we have today.”
Facebook has said it was aware of the sharing of user data with Cambridge Analytica in 2015 and that 87 million people may have been affected by the leak. It has been notifying users of whether their data was shared.
The allegations against Cambridge Analytica have heightened concerns over whether the data of Facebook users was then used to try and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the U.K.’s referendumto leave the European Union, which it denies. The company worked for the Donald Trump campaign briefly after switching from Ted Cruz when the latter pulled out of the race.
Cambridge Analytica’s former CEO, Alexander Nix, was caught on camera boasting that the firm ran Trump’s digital campaign — the company holds that Nix’s comments were taken out of context.