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Report: Cambridge Analytica tried to block exposé by U.K.'s Channel 4

Facebook under fire
Facebook “failed to inform users” that millions of profiles were harvested, reporter says 09:08

Cambridge Analytica tried to prevent London's Channel 4 News from airing an undercover report in which the firm's chief executive speaks frankly about its practices, according to the Financial Times. Channel 4 said their reporters posed as potential clients and spoke with senior members of Cambridge Analytica's team, including CEO Alexander Nix. The exposé aired Monday evening on Channel 4.

Cambridge Analytica has come under scrutiny after reports said it obtained data harvested by a third party from more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission. Facebook has since suspended the firm for violating its privacy policy.

Carole Cadwalladr, a reporter for the Guardian, told CBSN on Saturday that Facebook and Cambridge Analytica threatened to sue the paper in a bid to prevent the publication of its exposé on the data. The Guardian story, based on interviews with whistleblower Chris Wylie, a former employee for the firm, was published online on Saturday.

"This continual pattern that we've seen with Facebook -- trying to shut the story down, finally when it has no choice, acknowledge it. They've just really got to do better," Cadwalladr said.

Data firm used the “worst impulses to extract information,” writer says 04:48

In a statement released late on Friday, Facebook said that it learned it had been "lied to" about Cambridge Analytica and an affiliate's activities in 2015, more than two years before suspending the firm from its platform, but did not alert users at the time. 

The firm worked with President Trump's campaign in 2016, but Mr. Trump's data guru Brad Parscale told "60 Minutes" in October that the campaign never used the "psychographic" information that made Cambridge Analytica famous. He said the practice of psychographics "doesn't work," but said he doesn't believe it's "sinister."

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