NEWS
19/03/2018 12:10 GMT | Updated 19/03/2018 19:45 GMT

Channel 4 News To Broadcast Cambridge Analytica Exposé Despite Legal Threat

Source says programme remains on course for 7pm broadcast.

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Channel 4 News is proceeding with a planned report of an undercover exposé involving Cambridge Analytica, despite a reported legal battle to stop the broadcast.

The programme will air the probe into the workings of the secretive data and analytics firm at 7pm (GMT) on Monday, a source has told HuffPost UK.

Cambridge Analytica was on Sunday said to be “scrambling” to stop the broadcast, the Financial Times reported.

The London-based company is at the centre of explosive claims that it harvested the data of up to 50m Facebook profiles, information which was allegedly used these during the 2016 US presidential election, in contravention of Facebook policy.

Facebook acted on Friday to stop the company from using its platform.

Cambridge Analytica did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. However, writing on Twitter, the company said: “We refute these mischaracterisations and false allegations, and we are responding.”

Squire Patton Boggs, a law firm acting on behalf of Cambridge Analytica, did not respond to requests for comment.

The Channel 4 programme is understood to include undercover footage of meetings between reporters posing as prospective clients and Cambridge Analytica executives, including Alexander Nix, its CEO.

Channel 4 News declined to comment. 

The investigation by the Observer newspaper in the UK, the New York Times and Channel 4 News focuses on the claims of a whistleblower who said he had knowledge of data gleaned via a seemingly innocuous quiz app on Facebook.

It is alleged the quiz app allowed access to Facebook users’ data - and the data of their Facebook “friends”. The developer of the quiz app is then claimed to have sold this data to Cambridge Analytica, which is then alleged to have used it to help political clients.

What does Cambridge Analytica do?

Cambridge Analytica played a key role in mapping out the behaviour of voters in the run-up to the 2016 US election.

It also helped the Leave.EU campaign during the EU referendum campaign.

That involvement led to The Observer newspaper last year accusing it of “hijacking” democracy.

While Trump’s presidential campaign paid millions of dollars to Cambridge Analytica, which was funded by the president’s billionaire donor Robert Mercer

[READ MORE: Explained: Who is Cambridge Analytica and what is it accused of doing?]

Facebook has insisted that the use of its users’ data does not constitute a “data breach”.

Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth argued that the incident did not constitute a “breach” because users voluntarily downloaded the quiz app.

Those connected with users of the quiz app, however, may not have been aware their information was also being recorded.

Facebook’s shares fell 4% upon opening on Monday morning, as MPs called on the firm to take further action.

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