Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook has been summoned by Parliament to explain why consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, have been using Facebookers’ data without permission. The scandal is said to have affected 50 million Facebook users, whose data was used inappropriately and not deleted by Cambridge Analytica when they were told to do so.
Facebook have been accused of misleading the Parliamentary committee, although London-based group Cambridge Analytica have denied any wrongdoing.
The claims first serviced when previous employee, Christopher Wylie, went to the press claiming that the company had been using data against protocol for correct conduct. According to Wylie, huge amounts of personal data were harvested via a personality quiz named ‘This is Your Digital Life’.
Although only 270,000 people took the quiz, the data of 50 million Facebook users (mainly in the US) has been misused as information became accessible via friend networks.
Wylie further alleged that this data was sold to Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 Presidential Election. The company used the information to profile individuals and send them pro-Trump propaganda.
Undercover footage was released of Cambridge Analytica’s Chief Executive, Alexander Nix, hinting at strategies the company could adopt to undermine and discredit other politicians’ campaigns.
Parliament have now called on Mark Zuckerburg to resolve the issue personally by 26th March 2018. Furthermore, Zuckerburg has been heavily criticised for his passive stance during the debacle as just earlier this year he promised to improve Facebook’s security policy and use of personal data.
Cambridge Analytica has now been suspended from Facebook, with UK parliamentary officials requesting a warrant to search their offices.
Despite having benefitted from the affair, President Trump has welcomed further investigation into the issue, stating that the privacy of American citizens is of the upmost importance.
After the scandal was revealed, Facebook shares have lost $50 billion worth of market value, with shares dropping by over 11%.
An open meeting with Facebook was held last Tuesday to discuss the crisis, although neither Zuckerburg nor his Deputy Sheryl Sandberg were present.
Both Zuckerburg and Sandberg are yet to speak publicly about the scandal.