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The Latest: Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO pending probe

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the alleged use of personal Facebook data by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica (all times local): 3:05 p.m. The board of Cambridge Analytica says it has suspended CEO Alexander Nix pending a full independent investigation of his actions.

The board cited comments Nix made to an undercover reporter for Britain's Channel 4 News and other allegations of wrongdoing for its action Tuesday. It says his comments "do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view the violation."

The board says in an announcement posted on the data-mining company's website that the suspension is effective immediately.

3:00 p.m.

A British TV news program is airing more footage from the secretly recorded meeting one of its reporters had with Cambridge Analytica chief Alexander Nix.

Channel 4 News broadcast clips Tuesday that show Nix saying his data-mining firm played a major role in securing Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including "all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting."

Nix also said Cambridge Analytica used emails set with a "self-destruct timer" during the Trump campaign to make its role more difficult to trace.

He said: "There's no evidence, there's no paper trail, there's nothing."

The program says Nix made the comments to a reporter posing as a wealthy potential client seeking to use Cambridge Analytica to influence campaigns in Sri Lanka.

Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by British officials for its handling of Facebook users' personal data.

1:20 p.m.

A British parliamentary committee is summoning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions on fake news as authorities step up efforts to determine whether data has been improperly used to influence elections.

The request comes amid reports that a U.K. company used Facebook data to help Donald Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The company, Cambridge Analytica, has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts. It denies wrongdoing.

The chairman of the U.K. parliamentary media committee, Damian Collins, said Tuesday that his group has repeatedly asked Facebook how it uses data and that Facebook officials "have been misleading to the committee."

1:15 p.m.

Facebook Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman says the company would be willing to speak with federal regulators about the use of personal data by a political research firm tied to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

Cambridge Analytica obtained Facebook account data without users' knowledge. Published reports say the company retained the data after claiming it had been deleted. Chris Wylie, who once worked for Cambridge Analytica, was quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg was the first to report that the Federal Trade Commission is probing Facebook over the use of that personal data.

The FTC says it's aware of the issues that have been raised. It wouldn't comment on whether it was investigating Facebook, but said it takes "any allegations of violations of our consent decrees very seriously."

9:50 a.m.

Facebook is having one of its worst weeks as a publicly traded company with a share sell-off continuing for a second day.

Britain's Commissioner Elizabeth Denham told the BBC that she was investigating Facebook and has asked the company not to pursue its own audit of Cambridge Analytica's data use. Denham is also pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's servers.

Facebook's stock tumbled 2 percent at the opening bell Tuesday following its worst trading day in four years.

Facebook Inc. is coming under intense scrutiny since The New York Times and The Guardian newspaper reported that former Trump campaign consultant Cambridge Analytica used data, including user likes, inappropriately obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections.

5:15 a.m.

Britain's information commissioner says she is using all her legal powers to investigate the handling of personal data by Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's servers. The company allegedly used data mined from Facebook to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

She told BBC on Tuesday she is also investigating Facebook and has asked Facebook not to pursue its own audit of Cambridge Analytica's data use. She says Facebook has agreed.

Denham said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way.

Chris Wylie, who once worked for Cambridge Analytica, was quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories.

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