A second whistleblower in the ongoing Cambridge Analytica data scandal has come forward alleging that the firm collected far more data than it’s letting on.
The claims hold some gravitas as they come from former business development director at Cambridge Analytica Brittany Kaiser.
Speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the UK this week, Kaiser alleged that Cambridge Analytica had used a number of questionnaires to extract data from users.
Users would be prompted to grant the questionnaire access to Facebook at which point it is believed Cambridge Analytica would grab their data.
“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 [Aleksandr] Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities,” Kaiser told the committee this week.
Aleksandr Kogan, you may recall, is the person at the heart of this scandal who – using quizzes – collected the data of some 30 million users which he then sold on to Cambridge Analytica.
Meanwhile Kaiser went on to tell lawmakers that quizzes which require access to Facebook might be more about harvesting data than telling users which Hogwarts House they belong to.
“So I know, at least of those two examples, the music version and the sex compass, which were both quizzes that were separate from Aleksandr Kogan’s quiz. Therefore it can be inferred or implied that there were many additional individuals as opposed to just the ones through Aleksandr Kogan’s test whose may have been compromised,” said Kaiser.
Cambridge Analytica said earlier this month that claims that it had obtained the data of 87 million Facebook users were false.
“Cambridge Analytica licensed data for no more than 30 million people from GSR, as is clearly stated in our contract with the research company. We did not receive more data than this,” the firm said in a statement.
With all of this going on Facebook is having to do massive damage control as users call for greater control over their data. The firm has recently prompted users to review the apps and websites they have linked to Facebook as well as making it easier to manage their privacy settings.