April 9 (UPI) — Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie said data the firm took from Facebook may have affected more than 87 million users and may be stored in Russia.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Wylie said the number of people affected by the data breach could “absolutely” be higher than the 87 million recently estimated by Facebook and said “quite a few people” may have had access to the data.
“It could be stored in various parts of the world, including Russia, given the fact that the professor who was managing the data harvesting process was going back and forth between the UK and to Russia,” he said.
Wylie added the data could have been copied after being extracted from Facebook, making it difficult for the company to verify whether it continues to be circulated.
“You can make as many copies as possible,” he said. “So, you know, it isn’t actually materially possible to verify if that data has been eliminated from the existence of the universe because another copy could’ve been made.”
Facebook announced Wednesday an estimated 87 million accounts, including 70,623,350 in the United States, may have been accessed by the British data firm without their knowledge.
Wylie said he has been contacted by U.S. authorities, including Congressional investigators and the Department of Justice, and plans to cooperate with their efforts.
“We’re just setting out dates that I can actually go and sit down and meet with the authorities,” he said.
Wylie also published an op-ed in the Guardian, after Facebook’s decision to suspend Canadian data firm AggregateIQ.
He said he gave Britain’s parliament contracts and an IP license showing a relationship between AIQ and Cambridge Analytica, including staff lists from SCL, the parent of Cambridge Analytica, which name the head of AIQ, Zack Massingham, as “Head of SCL Canada.”
Facebook suspended the firm after learning it may be affiliated with SCL and, may, as a result, have improperly received Facebook data.”
AIQ hasn’t commented on Facebook’s action to suspend it from the platform but said it isn’t a direct part of Cambridge Analytica, nor is it the firm’s Canadian branch.