While Aleksandr Kogan, the professor whose online psychographic quiz was used to cull data from millions of Facebook users without their permission, was testifying before the British Parliament Tuesday, the whistleblower who exposed the scheme was on Capitol Hill encouraging lawmakers to probe whether the data analytics firm’s actions were in violation of U.S. law.
Although whistleblower Christopher Wylie declined to say what he’d shared during the closed-door session with Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, according to a Politico report, he told reporters lawmakers could “investigate it and see if the actions were compliant with American law.”
Kogan, meanwhile, indicated to members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee he might not believe he broke Facebook’s developer policy, as the social media company has claimed when he gathered user information and shared it with Cambridge Analytica. The Cambridge University professor, according to a report in The Register, said he didn’t believe Facebook had “a developer policy that is valid. For you to break a policy it has to exist.”
Kogan said Facebook is casting blame on him because the company is in “PR crisis mode” after the revelations.
“I think they realize that their platform has been mined left and right by many others, and I was just the unlucky person that ended up somehow linked to the Trump campaign, and we are where we are,” he said.
Rep. Jerry Nadler had harsh words for his Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, decrying them in a statement for refusing “to participate in the interview, choosing instead to focus on a hearing this Thursday featuring social media personalities Diamond and Silk, who argue that social media companies are engaged in a plot to silence conservative voices on the Internet.”