The app developer at the center of Facebook’s data-handling scandal has dismissed speculation that he’s a Russian spy. Aleksandr Kogan, whose links to a Russian university and grants from the Russian government were first reported by The Guardian, is the data scientist who orchestrated Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting from Facebook. “I think they strongly insinuated that I’m a Russian spy based on no evidence whatsoever,” he said. “There have been conspiracy theorists that are convinced that I am the missing link between Russia and Trump.” Kogan said speculation surrounding his links to Russia from whistleblower Christopher Wylie was potentially “Russophobic” and “deeply irresponsible,” saying his family emigrated to the U.S. from Moscow when he was 7 because of anti-Semitic death threats. Kogan also said he was considering suing Facebook for insinuating that he had acted unethically. The data scientist is due to appear before British lawmakers this week.
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