Company spokesman: Cambridge Analytica is no Bond villain

Cambridge Analytica has admitted making mistakes over the Facebook data misuse scandal, but refused to be drawn into the detail of what they were.

The company called a press conference shortly after Dr Aleksandr Kogan gave evidence at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

But rather than put forward senior representatives of the company such as Julian Wheatland, chairman of its parent company, SCL, the company embroiled in the scandal offered Clarence Mitchell, who has years of communications experience, as a spokesman.

Mr Mitchell said it was incorrect that CA had not deleted the data when asked to by Facebook, and said the suggestion that the information was used in the Trump election campaign was "utterly incorrect".

He also said that is was incorrect that the company had supported the Brexit campaign.

Defending the company, Mr Mitchell added: "Cambridge Analytica is no Bond villain.

"While no laws were broken, we have acknowledged where mistakes have been made and a full independent investigation being conducted by a QC is being conducted as we speak.

"And when the board and he are in the position to make details of that investigation clear, they of course will do so.

"Essentially we are saying 'hold us to account by all means, but base it on facts and concrete evidence and not wild speculation based on misinformation, misunderstanding or in some cases, frankly, and overtly political position'."

Asked whether it would be more productive to accept mistakes and mend ways, rather than finger point, Mr Mitchell said: "Where mistakes have been made, we accept that and we are moving on from that with the investigation.

"We will happily cooperate with the ICO and are doing so, and the electoral commission - very happy to.

"Frankly the information commissioner's office did not need to raid the company in the way they did.

"If they had come in during normal office hours they would have been given full and free and open access for any of their questions to be answered.

"Cambridge Analytica is very happy to cooperate with all relevant authorities in any territory."

Mr Mitchell said CA was "extremely sorry" that it ended up in the possession of data that breached Facebook's terms of service.

He continued: "That was not the case when the contract was signed. We were not aware of that. And we know how people are very concerned - we are all concerned about how our political data is used or distributed.

"So clearly that is something that we wouldn't have wanted to happen.

"But as I say, we have put in place the procedures that begin to rectify this."

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