EU lawmakers press Facebook on data breach

Facebook has launched its own investigation into claims that data from up to 50 million of its users was harvested by a British company, Cambridge Analytica, and used in US President Donald Trump's election campaign.

EU lawmakers press Facebook on data breach

World Bulletin / News Desk

European lawmakers demanded answers from Facebook on Tuesday over a major data breach, as Britain's information watchdog sought a warrant to search the London offices of the analysis firm involved.

But it was forced to suspend the probe late Monday following a request from Britain's information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, who is making her own inquiries into both companies.

She is seeking court approval to conduct her own searches at Cambridge Analytica, which has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

"We are seeking a warrant so that, as the regulator, we can go in and get to the bottom, search the servers, do a data audit," Denham told BBC radio.

"We are also looking at Facebook at the same time, so our advice to Facebook was to back away, let us get in there as a regulator and do our work, and they have agreed."

A British parliamentary committee called on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to personally explain to them what happened with "this catastrophic failure of process".

But committee chairman Damian Collins said Facebook officials had "consistently understated" the risk of data being taken from users without consent.

Guy Verhofstadt, who leads the European Parliament's liberal group, also called Tuesday for an investigation into what he said was an "absolute scandal".

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, who has called the breach "horrifying", will meanwhile seek clarification from Facebook during a visit to the United States this week.

US lawmakers have already called on Zuckerberg to appear before Congress, along with the chief executives of Twitter and Google.

They said the firms have "unprecedented amounts of personal data" and the lack of oversight "raises concerns about the integrity of American elections as well as privacy rights".

Amid fears of a regulatory crackdown, Facebook shares fell by 6.8 percent on the Nasdaq index on Monday and were down two percent at $169.17 in early trading on Tuesday.

Last Mod: 20 Mart 2018, 18:11
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