Overnight Tech: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower meets House Dems | SEC fines Yahoo $35M over email breach | Senators unveil internet privacy bill

Overnight Tech: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower meets House Dems | SEC fines Yahoo $35M over email breach | Senators unveil internet privacy bill
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DEMS HEAR FROM CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA WHISTLEBLOWER: Democrats from the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees interviewed Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, today in a closed-door hearing.

Members leaving the hearing said they also want to hear from Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonWhy Steve Bannon would fuel Donald Trump toward victory Sunday shows preview: Trump, lawmakers weigh in on COVID-19, masks and school reopenings amid virus surge Navarro-Fauci battle intensifies, to detriment of Trump MORE, the former White House adviser, and GOP megadonor Robert Mercer, two of the founders of Cambridge Analytica.

 

Here's what Democrats said in a statement after the session: "Mr. Wylie's statements today demonstrate why it is so important that our Committees prioritize investigating foreign interference in our elections. We need interviews, documents, and hearings without delay. Instead, Reps. Goodlatte and Gowdy have spent their time on repeated investigations of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonState polling problematic — again 4 reasons why Trump can't be written off — yet 'Unmasking' Steele dossier source: Was confidentiality ever part of the deal? MORE's emails and holding sham hearings centered on the theory that conservatives are unfairly censored on social media.

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"Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDeutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments Ivanka and Kushner earned at least M in outside income last year: financial disclosures MORE, Senior Advisor to President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE, once credited Cambridge Analytica with the President's victory, but the interview with Mr. Wylie today raises serious questions and concerns about our security. We must do more to learn how foreign actors collect and weaponize our data against us, and what impact social media has on our democratic processes. Cambridge Analytica is not the first company to engage in these types of tactics, nor will they be last if we fail to conduct oversight and investigate this matter thoroughly. We demand that Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Gowdy hold immediate hearings and call in additional witnesses without delay."

 

--The Cambridge Analytica scandal prompted Mark Zuckerberg to appear in two separate congressional hearings this month, as lawmakers from both parties lashed out at him for Facebook's handling of the data leak.

 

What's next: Tomorrow, Wylie will visit with Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

"Mr. Wylie has agreed to testify Wednesday as part of our continuing investigation into Russian meddling in our democracy," Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence MORE (D-Calif.), the panel's top Democrat, told The Hill in a statement. "We believe Wylie will further our understanding of Cambridge Analytica's role in the 2016 election, its reported interactions with Russian figures, and how the company used Facebook personal data in their efforts."

 

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SEC FINES YAHOO $35 MILLION: Altaba, formerly known as Yahoo, agreed to pay a $35 million fine for failing to disclose "one of the world's largest data breaches," the SEC announced Tuesday.

"Although information relating to the breach was reported to members of Yahoo's senior management and legal department, Yahoo failed to properly investigate the circumstances of the breach and to adequately consider whether the breach needed to be disclosed to investors," the SEC said.

The agency said that the company misled investors in not revealing the breach.

Why this is so big: This settlement reportedly marks the first time the SEC has pursued a company for failing to properly disclose a cyber breach.

 

FACEBOOK WILL ALLOW USERS TO APPEAL CONTENT REMOVALS: Facebook announced today that it will allow users to appeal when their posts are taken down. The company also made its community standards public for the first time.

"First, the guidelines will help people understand where we draw the line on nuanced issues. Second, providing these details makes it easier for everyone, including experts in different fields, to give us feedback so that we can improve the guidelines -- and the decisions we make -- over time," Facebook vice president Monika Bickert wrote in a blog post.

 

--In related news, YouTube revealed today that it deleted eight million videos in 2017 for violating their content policies.

 

--Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday will hear from social media personalities Diamond and Silk on Facebook's attitude towards conservatives. Conservatives are raising concerns that their views are being censored by Facebook. Diamond and Silk are two prominent Trump video bloggers.

 

STOLEN IDENTITIES ON FACEBOOK: Facebook has hosted data posted by cyber criminals including stolen identities and Social Security numbers.

Motherboard, which first reported on the Social Security numbers, which were publicly posted on Facebook.

Some of the posts selling Social Security numbers had been on Facebook for several years. Motherboard successfully verified some of the identities and numbers posted on Facebook.

 

--Facebook's response: "We work hard to keep your account secure and safeguard your personal information. Posts containing information like Social Security numbers or credit card information are not allowed on Facebook, and we remove this material when we become aware of it."

 

 

 

 

SENATORS UNVEIL BIPARTISAN PRIVACY BILL: Sens. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenators press Postal Service over complaints of slow delivery GOP sparks backlash after excluding election funds from COVID-19 bill Hillicon Valley: Feds warn hackers targeting critical infrastructure | Twitter exploring subscription service | Bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena power MORE (D-Minn.) introduced their internet privacy bill on Tuesday, just weeks after grilling Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergNYT media columnist Ben Smith calls Facebook's self-proclaimed patriotism 'very implausible' Facebook reports 11 percent revenue growth as usage surges amid pandemic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill MORE over Facebook's data scandal.

The bill would force websites to be more transparent about their data collection practices and to offer users the option to opt-out of being tracked.

"I don't want to hurt Facebook, and I don't want to regulate them half to death, either," Kennedy said in a statement. "But I have a job to do, and that's protecting the rights and privacy of our citizens."

 

TWITTER PREPS FOR EU DATA LAW: Twitter said on Tuesday that it would be making changes to its privacy policy in order to make its practices more transparent to users. The company said the changes would go into effect on May 25, the same day that the EU's General Data Protection Regulation will be implemented.

"As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, and in preparation for new data protection laws that take effect next month, we're updating our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to empower you to make the best decisions about the information that you share with us," Twitter wrote in a blog post.

 

ON TAP:

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee will hold an open meeting at 9:00 a.m.

The FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee will hold a meeting at 9:00 a.m.

The Senate Commerce Committee will consider the FTC nomination of Democrat Rebecca Slaughter during an executive session at 9:45 a.m.

The Information Technology Industry Foundation will hold an event on social contracts for data at 1:30 p.m.

The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will hold a hearing on cybersecurity and small businesses at 3:30 p.m.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

BuzzFeed News: YouTube hosted graphic images of bestiality on its platform

The Guardian: Facebook in 'PR crisis mode' over Cambridge Analytica scandal

Motherboard: Facebook has hosted stolen identities and Social Security numbers for years

TechCrunch: Instagram launches "Data Download" tool to let you leave

Op-ed: Congress is walking the online privacy tightrope with oversight

Gizmodo: A key player just joined the lawsuit against the FCC to save net neutrality