‘We did not hack Facebook’, claims Cambridge Analytica

The analytics firm at the centre of a global data-harvesting scandal has hit back against claims it illegally hacked Facebook users’ details for political gains.

In a lengthy statement posted overnight, Cambridge Analytica denied violating any laws in the wake of a whistleblower’s claims that the company used data harvested from Facebook users to target US voters during the 2016 elections. 

Instead, Cambridge Analytica claimed it employed a research company named GSR, which licensed the data to the company,

In what they labelled a “statement of facts”, Cambridge Analytica said they then legally obtained the data via a tool “provided by Facebook”.

“Hundreds of data firms have utilised Facebook data in a similar fashion,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the company denied claims their data was used to manipulate the US election in Trump’s favour, saying:

“The claims that we used GSR data for the Trump campaign are simply untrue. Cambridge Analytica did provide polling, data analytics and digital marketing for the Trump campaign.

These are the same methods by which data is used for every other campaign. We used the same kind of political preference models used by the Obama and Clinton campaigns.”

In addition, Cambridge Analytica denied involvement in the Brexit referendum, claiming to have subcontracted a bulk of “digital marketing” out.

Although the company admitted to pitching for, Vote.leave and Remain, it said it did no work paid or unpaid for any of them.

“We had discussions with UKIP, but these discussions never resulted in a contract. In the end, we were not involved in the referendum in any capacity,” it added.

The statement comes following a damning report which said more than 80 million Facebook users worldwide may have had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

Of these, 70m came from the United States, 3.6m from across Asia and 300,000 were from Australia. 

Since the scandal broke last month, Facebook has made a number of grovelling attempts to restore trust among its user base and advertisers as the hashtag #DeleteFacebook makes waves across social media.

These include shutting down third-party advertiser access and adding more stringent measures against political advertising. 

However, Cambridge Analytica’s acting CEO Alexander Tayler attacked the media’s reporting of the scandal, describing it as “open season for critics to say whatever they like… based on speculation and hearsay.”.

He added: “It would be impossible to address the hundreds of articles and broadcast segments that have misrepresented Cambridge Analytica or replicated false statements made by those focused on creating a political scandal.”

The company has also now launched a website,, which it claims “will exhaustively and scrupulously address the falsehoods around our company and its work”.

In addition, Cambridge Analytica has attempted to discredit the original whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who broke the story in an extensive interview to the Guardian.

According to the statement: “Mr Wylie is not a whistle-blower. He has repeatedly claimed to be a founder of Cambridge Analytica. In reality, he was a contractor of SCL Elections and left in mid-2014. His work for Cambridge Analytica began in August 2013 and ended in July 2014. He has no recent knowledge of our business or its practices and has admitted as much in his testimony.”


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