The US Justice Department and the FBI are questioning former employees of Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct political data firm, and the banks that were associated with it, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
American official and others familiar with the inquiry say the investigation has just begun. Investigators study the company’s activities. Cambridge Analytica, the Justice Ministry and the FBI have declined to comment yeat.
In early March, it turned out that the British company Cambridge Analytica pulled data from Facebook users to use them in political advertising in different countries. According to the latest data, the company could access information from 87 million social network users.
Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg took responsibility for the data leakage and that the social network could use to spread “fake news” and incite hatred, including during political campaigns. According to an investigation in the US, Facebook used the Russian Internet trolls before the election of the US president to intervene in the campaign.
Cambridge Analytica was created around 2013, initially with a focus on U.S. elections, with $15 million in backing from billionaire Republican donor Robert Mercer and a name chosen by future Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, the New York Times has reported. Bannon left the White House on August 2017.
On May 2, Cambridge Analytica announced the termination of work.