The number of people who have had their personal information compromised as a result of data harvesting from Facebook is “much greater” than the 87 million already acknowledged, a former Cambridge Analytica employee has claimed.
Brittany Kaiser, the former director of program development at CA, told MPs on Tuesday that the company created several of its own Facebook quizes designed to harvest data from individuals.
The questionnaires the firm created included a “sex compass” quiz which would tell Facebook users what their “personal preferences” were. Another was a “music personality” quiz.
Facebook has said up to 87 million users have had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
The company aquired the data using a Facebook app called “thisisyourdigitallife” - developed by Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan.
Kaiser told the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee today: “I should emphasise that the Kogan/GSR datasets and questionnaires were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica used.
“I am aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners, usually with a Facebook login – for example, the ‘sex compass’ quiz.
“I do not know the specifics of these surveys or how the data was acquired or processed.
“But I believe it is almost certain that the number of Facebook users whose data was compromised through routes similar to that used by Kogan is much greater than 87 million; and that both Cambridge Analytica and other unconnected companies and campaigns were involved in these activities.”
Kaiser, who left CA in January 2018, told the committee when she had first joined the company the quizes were “designed specifically to harvest data from individuals, using Facebook as the tool”.
Facebook has said users it believes were affected by the data breach would receive a message on the platform.