Data row zuckerberg snubs summons from british mps – pune mirror database d b

LONDON facebook chief mark zuckerberg on tuesday turned down a request by british lawmakers to appear before them to respond to concerns about data privacy as the european union set a deadline for the US social media giant to respond to its own questions.

Zuckerberg instead offered to send one of his deputies as the US company comes under new pressure from the EU. In a letter to the british parliament’s digital, culture and media committee, rebecca stimson, head of public policy for facebook UK, said the company “fully recognizes the level of public and parliamentary interest in these issues”.

But committee chair damian collins renewed his demand to interview zuckerberg saying the seriousness of the allegations meant it was “appropriate” for the tech tycoon to offer an explanation himself, whether in person or via videolink.Social media


The committee’s request followed allegations that data from up to 50 million users was harvested by british company cambridge analytica for use in election campaigns, namely that of US president donald trump in 2016.

The social media giant said it did not know the data was being used in a political campaign, although it did allow an academic researcher to create an app that picked up the information from users and their friends.

“given the extraordinary evidence that we’ve heard so far today… It is absolutely astonishing that mark zuckerberg is not prepared to submit himself to questioning,” he said.

Collins was speaking during a hearing with a whistleblower from cambridge analytica.Facebook chief “these are questions of a fundamental importance and concern to facebook users, as well as to our inquiry as well. We would certainly urge him to think again if he has any care for people that use his company’s services,” he said.

In a letter published by the committee on tuesday, stimson offered to send facebook chief technology officer mike schroepfer or chief product officer chris cox to london next month. “facebook fully recognises the level of public and parliamentary interest in these issues and support your belief that these issues must be addressed at the most senior levels of the company by those in an authoritative position to answer your questions,” she wrote.Social media

She said either schroepfer or cox could attend “straight after the easter parliamentary recess”, meaning april 16 at the earliest. In the letter, stimson revealed that facebook was working with regulators around the world to assess how many people in each country were affected.

The EU, meanwhile, has given the social media giant two weeks to answer its own queries over the scandal, which has heavily hit facebook’s share price and raised major questions over how social media companies use private data. EU justice commissioner vera jourova wrote to facebook chief operating officer sheryl sandberg, asking what measures the company plans to take to prevent a similar scandal.Media giant

Zuckerberg apologised last week for the mistakes the company had made. He also said sorry in full-page advertisements in british and US newspapers, but the move failed to quell discontent.

A cambridgeanalytica whistleblower said on tuesday that canadian firm aggregateiq worked on software called ripon which was used to identify republican voters ahead of the 2016 US elections. AggregateIQ did not comment on remarks by christopher wylie, who previously disclosed how users’ data from facebook was used by cambridge analytica to help elect trump. Ripon, the town in which republican party was founded in 1854, was the name given to a tool that let a campaign manage its voter database, target specific voters, conduct canvassing, and manage fundraising.Social media

Christopher wylie also said that the official campaign backing britain’s exit from european union had access to data that was inappropriately collected from millions of facebook users. Wylie worked on cambridge analytica’s “information operations” in 2014 and 2015. He told the media panel of the british parliament that he “absolutely” believed aggregateiq drew on cambridge analytica’s databases for its work on the official vote leave campaign. The data could have been used to micro-target voters in closely fought referendum.

The US federal trade commission and attorneys representing 37 states stepped up pressure on facebook on monday to explain how the social network allowed data of 50 million users get into the hands of a political consultancy.Social media the commission took the unusual step of announcing that it had opened an investigation into the company — which it generally only does in cases of great public interest —citing media reports that raise what it called “substantial concerns about the privacy practices of facebook”.

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