The British data firm that’s come under fire for its use of ill-gotten Facebook user data has suspended its top executive.
Cambridge Analytica has suspended CEO Alexander Nix, who was caught on tape discussing his company’s sometimes shady practices that included entrapping politicians.
“In the view of the Board, Mr. Nix’s recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation,” Cambridge Analytica said in a statement.
The company said it would be conducting “a full, independent investigation,” and that Dr. Alexander Tayler would serve as acting CEO during the investigation.
An investigation from UK broadcaster Channel 4 recorded Nix discussing a supposedly hypothetical plan to entrap politicians. Nix also discussed Cambridge Analytica’s role in the Trump Campaign. He claimed the company started the “Crooked Hilary,” meme and that “our data informed all the strategy.” He also discussed his company’s use of a self-destructing email service and disguising social media ads.
Nix’s suspension comes one day after his firm publicly slammed Channel 4 for their tactics, which they described as “entrapment and mischaracterization.”
“I must emphatically state that Cambridge Analytica does not condone or engage in entrapment, bribes or so-called ‘honeytraps’, and nor does it use untrue material for any purpose,” Nix said in a statement.
“I deeply regret my role in the meeting and I have already apologised to staff.”
But with both Facebook and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launching investigations, and calls from numerous lawmakers for more scrutiny, the company has come under increasing pressure.