Facebook did not read the terms of service of the app that improperly shared user data with Cambridge Analytica, the company's chief technology officer said Thursday.
"We require that people have a terms and conditions and we have an automated check there at the time — this was in 2014, maybe earlier," Mike Schroepfer told U.K. lawmakers at a parliamentary committee hearing. "We did not read all of the terms and conditions."
Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University researcher, created an app that collected data on millions of Facebook users. Kogan's company, Global Science Research, then shared that data with political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.
Kogan said on Tuesday that Facebook did not pull it up on its terms of services until after The Guardian newspaper reported early information about it harvesting user data.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told U.S. lawmakers earlier this month that Kogan was "in violation" of his agreement with the platform and that this was a "big issue." But the data scientist hit back at the company's boss, arguing that tens of thousands of other developers were employing similar practices to his app.
The academic said Facebook's criticisms of him were likely the result of the social media giant undergoing "PR crisis mode."