Technology

British lawmakers call on Zuckerberg to appear before parliament

A British lawmaker on Tuesday called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before parliament to respond to reports that Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the Trump campaign, harvested data from millions of people without their permission.

Damian Collins, chairman of Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, wrote to Zuckerberg that it's time for a Facebook executive to address concerns over users' data security, The Independent reported.

"Given your commitment at the start of the New Year to 'fixing' Facebook, I hope that this representative will be you," he wrote.

Meanwhile, the British Information Commission is planning to conduct an on-site investigation of Cambridge Analytica's offices following a report that showed the company's CEO speaking on a recording that his firm used bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians.

The commission will also look into whether Facebook did enough to protect its users' data and whether they responded properly when they learned Cambridge Analytica had been harvesting information from their platform, Reuters reported.

"We are looking at whether or not Facebook secured and safeguarded personal information on the platform and whether when they found out about the loss of data they acted robustly and whether or not people were informed," said Elizabeth Denham, head of Britain's Information Commission.

Both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are under intense scrutiny following the reports that the data firm harvested information from 50 million Facebook profiles.

Facebook on Friday suspended the firm from its platform, saying it did not fully delete data given to it by Aleksandr Kogan, a University of Cambridge professor.

Kogan reportedly obtained the information from an app he created, which used a Facebook login. The New York Times reported that 30 million of the profiles provided by Kogan contained enough information for the firm to create psychographic profiles.

Cambridge Analytica said Monday it "strongly denies" the reports that it mishandled the data, and said it deleted the information it had accumulated.

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