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March 16, 2019, 23:46 GMT
By Anna Schecter
Aleksandr Kogan, the academic who exploited Facebook for the data firm linked to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Cambridge Analytica, filed a defamation suit against the social network on Friday before the statute of limitations expired.
It was a Friday night exactly a year ago, when Facebook "tried to get ahead of the Cambridge Analytica story," in Kogan's words, and issued a statement accusing it of misleading society. when he developed his app in 2014, allowing him to collect Facebook data for Cambridge Analytica, the UK-based data company that worked on the Trump campaign.
Kogan told Good King News that he was awaiting investigations from the Justice Department, the Commission for Security and Trade and the Federal Electoral Commission of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, before the filing was filed, but the limitation period "forced our hand". trial was first reported by The New York Times.
"My preference certainly was not to testify before the end of the government's investigations. That's why we did not file this complaint six months ago. We had no choice but to rank Friday, "Kogan said Saturday in a phone interview.
Kogan has maintained for months that his application that exploited Facebook's user profile data and those of his friends who had downloaded his app was a standard use procedure for hundreds or even thousands of applications .
He told Good King News that he had a working relationship with Facebook until the Cambridge Analytica scandal caught the company's attention.
"It's a frivolous pursuit of someone who has recklessly violated our policies and endangered people's data," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said on Saturday.
Kogan's lawyer, Steven Cohen, said Facebook had found "a convenient scapegoat" in Kogan.
"They accused him of being a liar and a fraudster and they knew that it was not the truth and that it was the standard for defamation for a public person", Cohen said. "Alex Kogan was clearly not a public figure, but Facebook's defamation had propelled him into the spotlight."
Cohen said Facebook had referred to Kogan as "an American Russian" in his statement.
"They reacted to all the negative publicity they had made to allow Russian trolls to post false information on Facebook and they found a convenient scapegoat in Alex Kogan."
"He did not deceive Facebook. He complied with what they told him to respect, "said Cohen. "In the meantime, he has lost jobs, investors, consulting contracts and his reputation. We want nothing more than to put this in front of a jury. "