British MPs bid to question Facebook’s Zuckerberg over misused data reports

Published: 04:44 GMT, Mar 19, 2018 |

A committee of British MPs has asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them to give evidence on reports that a political consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign gained inappropriate access to 50 million Facebook users’ data.

Damian Collins the chair of the parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) said Facebook had been “unable to provide satisfactory answers then, or to follow up with the written information that we required” when the companies executives had appeared before MPs during an earlier inquiry into the issue.

Facebook disclosed the issue in a blog post on Friday (March 16), hours before media reports that conservative-leaning Cambridge Analytica, a data company known for its work on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was given access to the data and may not have deleted it.

Facebook said in a statement that a Cambridge University psychology professor had lied to the company and violated its policies by passing data to Cambridge Analytica from an app he had developed. It suspended the firm from Facebook.

Facebook did not immediately reply when asked on Sunday for a response to the lawmakers’ comments. However, in a new statement Sunday, the company said it was conducting a “comprehensive internal and external review” to determine if the user data in question still existed.

Cambridge Analytica and the professor have denied violating Facebook’s terms, according to media reports.

The scrutiny presented a new threat to Facebook’s reputation, which was already under attack over Russians’ use of Facebook tools to sway American voters before and after the 2016 U.S. elections.

The DCMS have also summoned Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix, to reappear before them.

The company is also the subject of an investigation by the British Information Commissioner’s Office.

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