The FBI and Department of Justice are investigating the now-defunct British data firm Cambridge Analytica, and prosecutors have spent the last few weeks questioning former employees, an American official and others familiar with the matter told The New York Times.
Cambridge Analytica worked with President Trump’s campaign and those of other Republicans during the 2014 and 2016 elections, and in March, it emerged that the firm had harvested private data from more than 50 million Facebook users. Using that data, the company developed techniques that could allegedly identify personalities of voters and influence their behavior. Earlier this month, Cambridge Analytica announced it was shutting down and declaring bankruptcy, saying bad press and investigations like one launched by the National Crime Agency of Britain had ruined the business.
One of the prosecutors involved in the U.S. investigation is Brian Kidd, the assistant chief of the Justice Department’s securities and financial fraud division, the Times reports. Christopher Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee who is now a vocal critic of the firm and its practices, confirmed to the Times that he was contacted by the FBI and has answered some preliminary questions. Catherine Garcia