The academic embroiled in the Facebook data-misuse scandal has said he is “really sorry” that people feel their data was used in a way they did not expect.
Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan is accused of giving the private information of tens of millions of Facebook users to controversial election consultants Cambridge Analytica after collecting it via a Facebook app in 2013.
Speaking to CBS’s 60 Minutes he said that he was not troubled about whether he broke the platform’s terms of service, but that he was concerned with how people had reacted to it.
He said: “If I did something wrong or not, that has everything to do with the American people and the global population, how they respond to it.
“If Facebook tells me, ‘You are fine’, but everybody else tells me I was wrong, I was wrong.
“So, I’m not here to answer to Facebook. I’m here to answer to the public.
“And I think to the public, it doesn’t matter what the Facebook terms of service said.
“They still feel that I violated them and they’re angry that their data was taken and used in ways they could not have imagined or expected. And that’s what’s troublesome to me. And that’s what I’m really sorry for.”
Kogan is expected to be questioned on Tuesday by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee’s inquiry into fake news.