Facebook apparently knew of Cambridge Analytica's data harvesting since 2016

Andreessen and Facebook deny claims of being aware about the data harvesting before March 2018.

As part of a fresh new investigation, Facebook is now being questioned on when it knew about Cambridge Analytica's data harvesting. Apparently, they knew since two years before the scandal was uncovered.

This investigation has been initiated following a report by The Observer which revealed that as far back as 2016, when Cambridge Analytica started work on the Trump campaign, a meeting was hosted at Marc Andreessen's (Facebook board member and confidant of CEO Mark Zuckerberg) office with Christopher Wylie, who is the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower.

Essentially, the report suggests that Andreessen (at least) was aware of the actual ongoing purpose of the data harvesting almost two-years before the company claimed to have learned about it. And the impetus for the meeting was reportedly to find out how the firm was getting hold of people's information and to work out a technical fix from Facebook's end.

Facebook apparently knew of Cambridge Analyticas data harvesting since 2016

Representational image.

In the almost-year-long investigation following Wylie's statements, however, Facebook repeatedly refused to say when its senior executives, including the CEO, learned of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Meanwhile, Andreessen has denied the claims of being aware of the data harvesting since 2016, according to Business Insider. 

"The suggestion that I had or hosted a meeting involving Christopher Wylie is flatly and totally untrue. I have never met Wylie in my life. After the election of 2016, a mutual colleague suggested by email that I meet with Wylie, but that meeting never took place. Later, in early 2018, Wylie reached out to me on Twitter and asked for a meeting, which I turned down," Andreessen was reported as saying.

Facebook too says that they have no records of any such meeting.

Revealed in March 2018, research firm Cambridge Analytica harvested data from millions of people across the world via Facebook to target them with political messages without their consent.

Given that this is Facebook we're talking about, it's hard for anyone to take their word in good faith.

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