Free Press Journal

Data row: Zuckerberg told to testify


LONDON : A British parliamentary committee on Tuesday asked Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to appear before it to explain in person claims that millions of users’ data was harvested for political campaigns.

Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, wrote to Zuckerberg asking for his own account of “this catastrophic failure of process”. The request was made as part of the committee’s ongoing investigation into fake news, which saw its members’ last month visit Washington for hearings with officials from Facebook and Twitter.

But it follows allegations that data from up to 50 mn Facebook users was harvested by a UK company, Cambridge Analytica, for use in election campaign of US President Trump in 2016.

“Following material published in UK Guardian and The New York Times over the past few days, the committee would like to request that you appear before us to give oral evidence,” Collins wrote. “The committee has repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and in particular about whether data had been taken without their consent.