Alexander Nix, former chief govt of Cambridge Analytica, sought to defend himself towards a barrage of criticism from British lawmakers on Tuesday who accused him of spreading “a pack of lies” concerning the knowledge agency’s operations.
In additional than two hours of proof to the UK’s parliamentary choose committee for digital, tradition, media and sport, Mr Nix was questioned concerning the now-defunct knowledge agency’s ethics, its involvement in a large knowledge leak from Fb and allegations that he withdrew $8m from the corporate earlier than it imploded.
Mr Nix denied that he had intentionally misled the identical committee throughout questioning in February when he mentioned he had not obtained info from a Fb app designed by Cambridge educational Aleksandr Kogan. On the time he mentioned “we don’t work with Fb knowledge, and we should not have Fb knowledge”.
The next month The Observer revealed allegations from a former employee-turned-whistleblower Christopher Wylie that the corporate had processed the knowledge of as much as 87m Fb customers, gathered by the app.
“Clearly, I settle for that a few of my solutions might have been clearer however I guarantee you that I didn’t intend to mislead you,” he mentioned on Wednesday. He mentioned his reply on the time was a “real misunderstanding” as a result of he had been interrupted by the committee’s chairman Damian Collins.
Mr Nix additionally hit again on Wednesday at allegations that he withdrew greater than $8m from shortly earlier than it collapsed. The Monetary Occasions on Tuesday reported that Mr Nix was in a stand-off with traders over the alleged withdrawal, in line with a number of folks concerned within the dispute.
In keeping with you every thing we’ve heard about Cambridge Analytica is incorrect, however every thing you say is a pack of lies
In keeping with the folks, the withdrawal got here after Mr Nix discovered that British media was reporting on allegations about his firm’s use of Fb knowledge in political campaigns.
Mr Nix mentioned: “The allegation made in that article is fake, the info in that article aren’t appropriate.” Mr Nix didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark from the FT on Monday and Tuesday. He didn’t reply to additional requests for info on Wednesday.
“Apart from that I can’t converse to [the article] as a result of it alludes to different issues,” he mentioned. “After this media storm I’ve personally invested tens of millions of dollars to fulfill employees funds, employees salaries and employees bonuses.”
The proof session was heated at instances with members of parliament accusing the outdated Etonian of deceptive feedback. “Info, Mr Nix — not rumours — info is what we’re presenting you with. What we’re getting again is bluster and rudeness,” mentioned Ian Lucas, a Labour member of parliament.
“Certainly you may see that you just’re not the sufferer right here,” mentioned Brendan O’Hara, an SNP member of parliament. “In keeping with you every thing we’ve heard about Cambridge Analytica is incorrect, however every thing you say is a pack of lies.”
Mr Nix responded that the questioning was “completely ridiculous”.
Mr Nix has been swept up in scandal since revelations that beneath his management Cambridge Analytica harvested the information of tens of tens of millions of Fb customers and used it in political campaigns. An undercover documentary from Channel four in March confirmed Mr Nix suggesting he might entrap the opponents of shoppers by providing bribes.
Mr Nix mentioned on Wednesday: “I hope over time I shall be judged by my actions, not my phrases. Clearly my phrases have been silly.”
He added: “Let’s be categorical — we’ve by no means undertaken any work that makes use of a honeytrap or the usage of a intercourse scandal for political leverage or a political marketing campaign.”