INTERNATIONAL - Facebook is being investigated by lawmakers in Britain after consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, obtained the personal data of 87 million Facebook users from a researcher, drawing attention to the use of data analytics in politics.
Concerns over the social media giant’s practices, the role of political adverts and possible interference in the 2016 Brexit vote and US elections are among the topics being investigated by British and European regulators.
While Facebook says it complies with EU data protection laws, a special hearing of lawmakers from several countries around the world in London criticized Zuckerberg for declining to appear himself to answer questions on the topic.
“We’ve never seen anything quite like Facebook, where, while we were playing on our phones and apps, our democratic institutions ... seem to have been upended by frat-boy billionaires from California,” Canadian lawmaker Charlie Angus said.
“So Mr Zuckerberg’s decision not to appear here at Westminster (Britain’s parliament) to me speaks volumes.”