21:41 GMT +322 April 2018
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    A laptop showing the Facebook logo is held alongside a Cambridge Analytica sign at the entrance to the building housing the offices of Cambridge Analytica, in central London

    Leaked Facebook Data Could Be Stored in Russia - Cambridge Analytica Ex-Employee

    © AFP 2018 / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The number of Facebook accounts accessed in the data harvesting scandal could be much higher than 87 million, and leaked information could be stored in various parts of the world, including Russia, the whistleblower behind the data abuse scandal, said in an interview with NBC News.

    "There is a genuine risk that this data has been accessed by quite a few people and it could be stored in various parts of the world, including Russia, given the fact that the professor who was managing the data harvesting process was going back and forward between the UK and Russia," Christopher Wylie, an ex-employee of Cambridge Analytica (CA) and the whistleblower behind the data abuse scandal said in the interview.

    He also did not rule out that the number of affected Facebook users could be higher than 87 million. Wylie, however, noted that it was difficult to verify the exact number since data was a "fungible thing" and once it left your system and your database, one could make as many copies as possible.

    Wylie said in the UK House of Commons in late March that the Canadian AggregateIQ (AIQ) data analytics firm, allegedly affiliated with the CA, had been involved in the pro-Brexit campaign, as well as had been working on software that helped the Republican Party to widen its voter database.

    READ MORE: Facebook Suspends Canadian Firm Over Alleged Links to Data Breach Scandal

    Cambridge Analytica, in its turn, stated that Wylie had been a part-time contractor and left the company in July 2014, so he had no direct knowledge of the company's work since that.

    In March, it was made public that personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested by the Cambridge Analytica consultancy firm without their permission. While working for major political campaigns, the firm gathered data to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behavior of US voters. Earlier in the week, Facebook estimated the number of users affected at around 87 million, mostly located in the United States.

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    Tags:
    databreach, users, database, Cambridge Analytica, House of Commons, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, United States, United Kingdom
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