Cambridge Analytica’s ex-CEO, Alexander Nix, has refused to testify before the U.K. Parliament’s media committee. Committee Chairman Damian Collins announced the decision a day before his scheduled appearance, though completely rejected the notion that he should be let off the hook. Collins said that Nix hasn’t been charged with a crime and there are currently no active legal proceedings against him.
“There is therefore no legal reason why Mr. Nix cannot appear,” Collins said in a statement. “The committee is minded to issue a formal summons for him to appear on a named day in the very near future.”
In February, Nix gave evidence to the committee, but was recalled after former Cambridge Analytica staffer Christopher Wylie brought up concerns over electronic privacy, alleging that the firm used data from millions of Facebook accounts to help U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Wylie worked on Cambridge Analytica’s “information operations” in 2014 and 2015.
“Our investigation is looking at whether criminal and civil offences have been committed under the Data Protection Act,” the office said in a statement. Nix refusing to testify brings about some serious concerns of British inquiry, which more or less has become evident.
On Tuesday, former Cambridge Analytica business development director Brittany Kaiser testified that Facebook didn’t try and verify Cambridge Analytica’s assurance that the data had been deleted. “I find it incredibly irresponsible that a company with as much money as Facebook … had no due diligence mechanisms in place for protecting the data of U.K. citizens, U.S. citizens or their users in general,” she said.
“If the personal data of U.K. citizens who just wanted to buy car insurance was used by GoSkippy and Eldon Insurance for political purposes, as may have been the case, people clearly did not opt in for their data to be used in this way by Leave.EU,” she said in written testimony to the committee.