Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg under pressure over data breach
Government officials in the U.S. and Europe are demanding answers from Facebook Inc. after reports that Cambridge Analytica, the advertising-data firm that helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency, retained information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent.
Over the weekend, entreaties for the social-media giant to take responsibility evolved into calls for Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of lawmakers. Facebook has already testified about how its platform was used by Russian propagandists ahead of the 2016 election, but the company never put Zuckerberg himself in the spotlight with government leaders. The pressure may also foreshadow tougher regulation for the social network.
"It's clear these platforms can't police themselves," Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said Saturday on Twitter. "They say 'trust us.' Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before Senate Judiciary." Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also separately launched an investigation.The company on Friday said that a professor used Facebook's log-in tools to get people to sign up for what he claimed was a personality-analysis app he had designed for academic purposes. To take the quiz, 270,000 people gave the app permission to access data via Facebook on themselves and their friends, exposing a network of 50 million people, according to the New York Times. That kind of access was allowed per Facebook's rules at the time. Afterward, the professor violated Facebook's terms when he passed along that data to Cambridge Analytica.