LONDON (Reuters) - The Cambridge University academic at the centre of a row over the use of Facebook data said the accuracy of the information he produced had been greatly exaggerated and would not be able to sway an election.
The world’s biggest social network has been rocked this week by a whistleblower who said a UK-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica had worked with an academic, Aleksandr Kogan, to harvest Facebook data in support of the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
“The accuracy of this data has been extremely exaggerated,” Kogan told BBC radio in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.
Asked if microtargeting of voters could sway an election, he answered: “I personally don’t think so. I think it could have only hurt the (Trump) campaign.”
“I think what Cambridge Analytica has tried to sell is magic, and they’ve made claims that this is incredibly accurate and it tells you everything there is to tell about you. But I think the reality is it’s not that.”
Reporting by Kate Holton and Sarah Young, editing by David Milliken