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Cambridge Analytica Suspends C.E.O. Over Facebook Data Scandal

Cambridge Analytica Suspends C.E.O. Over Facebook Data Scandal


Photo



Alexander Nix, the chief executive of the London-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, left his offices through the back door on Tuesday.

Credit
Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA, via Shutterstock

Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm with ties to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, on Tuesday, following the furor over the access it gained to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users. The firm offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior.

On Monday, a British television news report cast it in a harsher light, showing video of Cambridge Analytica executives offering to entrap politicians.

Sitting in a hotel bar, Mr. Nix suggested ideas for a prospective client looking for help in a foreign election. The firm could send an attractive woman to seduce a rival candidate and secretly videotape the encounter, Mr. Nix said, or send someone posing as a wealthy land developer to pass a bribe.

“We have a long history of working behind the scenes,” Mr. Nix said.

The prospective client, though, was actually a reporter from Channel 4 News in Britain, and the encounter was secretly filmed as part of a monthslong investigation into Cambridge Analytica.

The results of Channel 4’s work were broadcast in Britain on Monday, days after reports in The New York Times and The Observer of London that the firm had harvested the data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles in its bid to develop techniques for predicting voter behavior.

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