Weeks after it suspended UK data firm Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has prevented Canadian data firm AggregateIQ from using its platform, according to the National Observer, pending an investigation after it reports connected the two amidst the ongoing privacy scandal that has shaken the social media company.
In a statement to the National Observer, a Facebook spokesperson says the company has been suspended from the platform “in light of recent reports that AggregateIQ may be affiliated with SCL and may, as a result, have improperly received (Facebook) user data,” while Facebook conducts an investigation.
We’ve reached out to AggregateIQ and Facebook, and will update if we hear back.
In March, Cambridge Analytica whistlerblower Chris Wylie implicated the company during testimony before a Parliamentary committee, saying that the company used cooperated with and used information from Cambridge Analytica during the Britain’s Leave campaign, and that it might have helped the campaigns sidestep political spending limits. On its website, AggregateIQ describes itself as a “digital advertising, web and software development company based in Canada.” It also says that “has never been and is not a part of Cambridge Analytica,” or its parent company, SCL. The company also claims that it has never managed or had access to the information used by Cambridge Analytica.
Last year, The Guardian reported that both Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ were connected to a pair of campaigns advocating for Britain to leave the European Union, and that they had a “close working relationship.”
Facebook has been rocked by the revelations that tens of millions of its users might have had their information improperly obtained and used by the UK company, following a series of reports in both The Guardian and The New York Times. It has faced intense public criticism over the lax controls on data gleaned from its platform, and has prompted CEO Mark Zuckerberg to apologize and testify before Congress next week.