Facebook Under Pressure Over Data And Privacy Issues

By Nitish Singh / March 21, 2018

From politicians in the US and Europe to Federal Regulators, State Prosecutors, and even Facebook shareholders, currently, everybody is wondering whether or not the social media giant is mishandling user data.

The fear stems from the recently uncovered news about Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, getting hold of data pertaining to 50 million Facebook users. The social media company is yet to provide an official statement as to how and why this happened. Most of the top executives working at Facebook have remained silent and didn’t offer any comment on the matter.

Cambridge Analytica Office

Image Courtesy of Livemint

Now it is worth noting that Cambridge Analytica played a crucial role in the electoral campaign of current US President Donald Trump. And so it does beg the question if there was any social media manipulation involved in the 2016 elections. In the words of Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, “The American people deserve answers about social media manipulation in the 2016 election.[...]It’s time for Mr. Zuckerberg and the other C.E.O.s to testify before Congress.

Facebook staff members have already been scheduled to explain the situation to the office of Mr. Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence committee, along with offices of member of other committees later this week.  

New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman along with Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey are also going to start an investigation to find out whether or not Facebook compromised the privacy of their users living in those states. They sent a letter to the social media company demanding a record of communications that went on between the company and Cambridge Analytica.

Besides them, the Republican leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee organized by John Thune of South Dakota also wrote a letter to the company CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding to know the details on how the data had been collected. Mr. Thune’s letter reads, “The possibility that Facebook has either not been transparent with consumers or has not been able to verify that third-party app developers are transparent with consumers is troubling.

Apart from this, the British Parliament as well as the European Parliament both asked for Mr. Zuckerberg to appear before the panel and answer questions related to their connection with Cambridge Analytica.

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