Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Congress wants answers from Facebook about Cambridge Analytica

A Senator has asked how Facebook could have given info without permission.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 19, 2018
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Reuters/Toby Melville

You knew it was just a matter of time before Congress joined those investigating Facebook's data sharing debacle, even if it's only in a tentative way. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking him to explain how Cambridge Analytica ended up with data on 50 million people, most of them without permission. In addition to details of the incident itself, Wyden wants to know why Facebook didn't drop Cambridge Analytica when it learned of the collection in 2015, whether the data was used for targeted ads and how this could happen despite the FTC decree limiting Facebook's data collection and sharing activities.

The letter also asks for general background info, such as the number of data policy violations from the past 10 years, privacy assessments since the FTC decree from 2011, as well as the number of apps Facebook audited. The collection took place through an app, "thisisyourdigitallife," that gathered information about both its immediate users and their Facebook friends.

Wyden has given Zuckerberg until April 13th to provide answers.

This isn't the same as a formal investigation, and won't necessarily lead to action. Members of Congress have a habit of sending letters whenever they're concerned about a subject, and only occasionally follow up -- it's frequently about the public show of concern more than tangible action. This shows that the issue is alarming enough to at least draw attention from Congress, however, and Wyden is on the Senate Intelligence Committee. It won't be surprising if this leads to a more substantial investigation, especially in light of concerns about election manipulation.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
Our readers get real about their issues with the AirPods Pro

Our readers get real about their issues with the AirPods Pro

View
Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

View
Microsoft's Surface Duo may launch with AT&T

Microsoft's Surface Duo may launch with AT&T

View
Fossil's Gen 5 Wear OS smartwatches are about to get a major update

Fossil's Gen 5 Wear OS smartwatches are about to get a major update

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr