UK Politicians Demand Facebook Answer Questions About User Data Scandal

Mark Zuckerberg
The Associated Press

UK MP’s have called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about the social media companies most recent user data scandal.

Sky News reports that as Facebook faces investigations from UK, EU, and US authorities over a recent data scandal that saw the user data of approximately 50 million users obtained by Cambridge Analytica. British MP’s have called on CEO Mark Zuckerberg or other Facebook executives to answer questions about the alleged data leak. Zuckerberg has yet to comment whatsoever on the scandal or make a public statement. As the social media company’s stock continues to drop, many are beginning to question when Zuckerberg will take charge of the situation.

Damian Collins MP, the chair of the UK culture committee, has formally written to Mark Zuckerberg to request that he appear before the committee in an oral evidence session. In his letter, Collins stated that the DCMS committee “has repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and in particular about whether data had been taken without their consent. Your officials’ answers have consistently understated this risk, and have been misleading to the Committee,” Collins told Zuckerberg. “It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process.”

Collins letter continued to state “There is a strong public interest test regarding user protection. Accordingly we are sure you will understand the need for a representative from right at the top of the organisation to address concerns. Given your commitment at the start of the New Year to ‘fixing’ Facebook, I hope that this representative will be you.” Collins gave Zuckerberg a deadline for his reply saying that the committee would like to receive Zuckerberg’s response by March 26.

There may be one issue with Collins letter however, Conservative MP Greg Hands noted that the zip code on the address of the letter was incorrect.

Cambridge Analytica is also coming under fire in the UK from the British Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, who is seeking an urgent warrant to search the Cambridge Analytica premises in London in search of evidence of breaches of the Data Protection Act. Denham filed for the warrant after Cambridge Analytica failed to respond to a deadline for access to the firm’s records. Cambridge Analytica told Sky News that they had been in contact with the Information Commissioner’s Office since February 2017 in order “to provide total transparency on all the data we hold, its usage, and other aspects of our business.”

“We have been fully compliant and proactive in our conversations with the ICO,” Cambridge Analytica added. “Since early last year we have subsequently cooperated with the ICO on multiple lines of enquiry, including most recently on the Facebook data and derivatives that we received from GSR, the research company that we engaged in good faith to legally supply data for research. On this point we have offered to share with the ICO all the information that it asked for and for the ICO to attend our office voluntarily, subject to our agreeing the scope of the inspection. We remain committed to helping the ICO and all other concerned organisations in their investigations and audits.” Ten plastic boxes were reportedly removed this week from a building on Oxford Street, central London, where Cambridge Analytica is based.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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