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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017

    Assange Says to Evidence on Cambridge Analytica Issue to UK Lawmakers

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    The UK House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee is probing the Cambridge Analytica firm after reports that the company had collected the personal information of about 50 million Facebook users in order to target them with ads favoring Brexit.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday he accepted the request by the UK House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to give evidence via video link on the Cambridge Analytica issue.

    Earlier in the day, Damian Collins, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the UK House of Commons, said Tuesday that he was requesting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appear to give oral evidence in the case of the Cambridge Analytica firm, accused of data harvesting.

    "The Committee would like to request that you appear before us to give oral evidence … It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process," Collins said in a letter to the Facebook CEO, adding that the committee was awaiting Zuckerberg’s response by March 26.

    "It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process," he added.

    Last week, media reported that the personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested without their permission by the Cambridge Analytica firm, which worked for US President Donald Trump’s electoral campaign and a campaign in favour of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, in order to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behavior of voters.

    UK's Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said on Tuesday that she is looking for a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's servers. According to Denham, the key allegation is that the company had acquired users' personal data in an unauthorized way. She also said that the data provisions act requires social media companies like Facebook to use powerful safeguards to avoid the misuse of data.

    Denham said that Facebook is also under investigation, adding that it was her "advice to Facebook is to back away and let us go in and do our work."

    Chris Wylie, a former employee for Cambridge Analytica, said that the firm used the extracted users' data to create their psychological profiles in order to target them with ads.

    Cambridge Analytica firm, which worked for US President Donald Trump’s electoral campaign and a campaign in favour of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, said it had been in touch with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) since 2017.

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