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Facebook founder to give evidence over data sharing breach

Facebook founder questioned over data being shared to third party companies, breaching sharing conditions.

By April Slattery

Facebook has fallen short when preparing for the implementation of GDPR, after an investigation found user data has been shared without authorisation.

The social media firm has been slammed, following an investigation that allegedly found Cambridge Analytica, a British Political Campaigns firm, has acquired and retained information about Facebook users. Chair of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Damian Collins has now called for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to provide answers following the investigation.

Facebook founder to give evidence over data sharing breach

The founder is to give evidence against the data breach case.

“Data has been taken from Facebook users without their consent, and was then processed by a third party and used to support their campaigns,” Mr Collins said on the House of Commons webpage. “I will be writing to Mark Zuckerberg asking that either he, or another senior executive from the company, appear to give evidence in front of the Committee as part our inquiry.”

Cambridge Analytica had used personal information from Facebook users to create a system that allowed US voters to target them with political ad information. The firm has since been suspended by the social media giant, after it emerged data had not been destroyed following its initial use for Donald Trumps’ 2016 campaign.

The data had originally been authorised to be used by Global Science research (GSR), for a personality-testing application. Hundreds of thousands of users of the site gave permission for their data to be used for the academic purpose, but the company breached the conditions by pulling data from user’s friends’ accounts as well. To further the problem, the data had then been shared third party to Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook wrote in a blog post that GSR violated its data sharing conditions, after sharing data with a third party organisation in addition to failing to delete the information that they stated had been done.

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The ICO has said it will launch a formal investigation in the potential breach on the terms of use of the data, which saw the data used for purposes other than those agreed. A statement from Collins said that Facebook had failed to cooperate with DCMS and Collins said: “Someone has to take responsibility for this. It’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to stop hiding behind his Facebook page.”

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It is not the first criticism Facebook has faced, following the UK Government urges the company to do more to protect users and remove unwanted content. Now, with GDPR just over two months away it is concerning to find one of the biggest social media firms is still struggling to comply with new regulations.

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