India seeks Facebook's response over reports of data sharing without consent

08 June, 2018, 08:33 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Alexander Nix former CEO of Cambridge Analytica arrives at an annex of the Houses of Parliament to appear before the Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee in London

Cambridge Analytica data mining company has shut down amid a scandal over the personal information of about 50 million users it gathered from Facebook in order to allegedly influence some significant votes, including the 2016 US Presidential election and the Brexit referendum.

Facebook still has not answered hundreds of written questions submitted from members of Congress after Zuckerberg's testimony in April, according to congressional staff. Meanwhile, 24 per cent of people still feel the responsibility for looking after data on social media lies with the company and not with the user.

The letter from Thune and Nelson seeks the names of all manufacturers that received user data.

Alexander Nix acknowledged today that he should have been clearer when asked at an earlier hearing whether his firm had Facebook data through Global Science Research, a company set up by Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan.

Nix did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The hearing comes weeks after the company filed for bankruptcy in the United Kingdom and the US.

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The Federal Trade Commission confirmed in March that it was investigating Facebook's privacy practices.

Nix denied deliberately misleading British lawmakers, saying that the company had deleted the data which had been of no use. Facebook claims that Kogan violated its policy. "These partners signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for any other objective than to recreate Facebook-like experiences".

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump in 2016, has denied its work on the US president's successful election campaign made use of data allegedly improperly harvested from around 87 million Facebook users.

Two Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee, Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal, on Monday also wrote to Zuckerberg.

"New revelations that Facebook provided access to users' personal information, including religion, political preferences, and relationship status, to dozens of mobile device manufacturers without users' explicit consent are deeply concerning", they said in a letter. "I can't speak to her motives, I can't speak to what she was doing, she certainly wasn't there representing Cambridge Analytica or SCL".

That's what Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie said in front of a Canadian parliamentary committee, in response to a question from our community about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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