Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO pending probe in Facebook data scandal

The board of U.K.-based political consulting company Cambridge Analytica says it has suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending a full independent investigation of his actions amid a scandal over the handling of the personal data of millions of Facebook users.

The board cited comments Nix made to an undercover reporter for Britain’s Channel 4 News and other allegations of wrongdoing in taking action against Nix on Tuesday.

It said his comments “do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view the violation.”

The board said in an announcement posted on the data mining company’s website that the suspension was effective immediately.

Channel 4 News broadcast secretly recorded clips on Tuesday that show Nix saying his data mining firm played a major role in securing Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including “all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting.”

Nix also said Cambridge Analytica used emails set with a “self-destruct timer” during the Trump campaign to make its role more difficult to trace.

He said: “There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing.”

The program says Nix made the comments to a reporter posing as a wealthy potential client seeking to use Cambridge Analytica to influence campaigns in Sri Lanka.

Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by British officials for its handling of Facebook users’ personal data. The company has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts. It
denies wrongdoing.

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