Political data analytics company Cambridge Analytica on Tuesday said whistleblower Christopher Wylie had made false and speculative claims to a British parliamentary panel. The firm said the former employee had “misrepresented himself and the company” to the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, with “completely unfounded” claims.
The company is accused of using the private data of more than five crore Facebook users to influence voters during the 2016 presidential elections in the United States. Speaking to the British MPs on Tuesday, Wylie described the role of Cambridge Analytica and other such companies in elections round the world, including the Brexit campaign and the 2016 elections in the United States, The Guardian reported.
Wylie also said the company worked “extensively” in India and had offices and staff here. He added that the Congress might have been a client of the company.
In a statement after Wylie’s testimony, Cambridge Analytica said that the whistleblower had himself admitted that what he said was speculation. “Chris Wylie was a part-time contractor who left Cambridge Analytica in July 2014 and has no direct knowledge of the company’s work or practices since that date,” the company said.
“He was at the company for less than a year, after which he was made the subject of restraining undertakings to prevent his misuse of the company’s intellectual property while attempting to set up his own rival firm,” the statement read. “He was not, as he claims, a founder of Cambridge Analytica.”
The company also denied it held or used any data from the firm owned by Cambridge University professor Alexandr Kogan in the US 2016 presidential elections. Kogan’s firm was accused of passing on data from an app it created to Cambridge Analytica, which allegedly used it to influence voters in the election campaign.