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Cambridge Analytica researcher says the Facebook data is still out there: “someone did not delete it”

Aleksandr Kogan believes he'll be blackballed from academia and the tech industry, at least for a while

by William Turton
Apr 25 2018, 3:26pm

VICE News Tonight on HBO

The Cambridge University researcher at the center of the Facebook data scandal says he deleted his version of the data, but cannot guarantee others did too.

Aleksandr Kogan was working for Cambridge University when he designed a personality testing app that gathered the data of tens of millions of Facebook users. That data was passed on to political consultancy Cambridge Analytica without user consent, and is alleged to have been used to influence voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Despite assurances from Cambridge Analytica and Facebook that they deleted the files, Kogan believes the data could still be out there.

"Someone did not delete it, which is alarming," he said. "Facebook talks about auditing folks, but the idea of an audit is mostly ridiculous because what you're going to catch are good actors trying to do the right thing. What you are not going to catch is bad actors who decided to put that data on a hard drive and stick it under their mattress."

Since being branded a liar by Facebook for his role in the affair, Kogan has been on a road to try and clear his name.

"I mean I lost my career for sure," Kogan told VICE News. "Like It’ll be very difficult for me to ever be an academic anywhere."

VICE News joined Kogan before — and after — his visit to Britain's parliament.

This segment originally aired April 24, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.