APNewsBreak: Data scientist drops Facebook defamation suit

The data scientist at the center of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal says he is dropping a defamation suit against Facebook rather than engage in an expensive, drawn-out legal battle.

Aleksandr Kogan had sued in March, claiming Facebook executives scapegoated him to deflect attention from the social media giant’s own misdeeds.

The 33-year-old former Cambridge University psychology professor says the personal attacks thwarted his academic career. He says his job prospects are dim.

An online personality test app created by Kogan in 2014 vacuumed up the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users — mostly unwitting friends of participants.

Kogan and other developers say Facebook freely allowed such wholesale gathering of friends’ data at the time — though its own policy expressly barred it.

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