Lawmakers criticize Facebook’s Zuckerberg for UK parliament no-show

LONDON (Reuters) – Facebook (FB.O) got here below fireplace on Tuesday from lawmakers from a number of international locations who accused the agency of undermining democratic establishments and lambasted chief government Mark Zuckerberg for not answering questions on the matter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies earlier than a House Energy and Commerce Committee listening to concerning the corporate’s use and safety of consumer information on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Facebook is being investigated by lawmakers in Britain after consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which labored on Donald Trump’s presidential marketing campaign, obtained the non-public information of 87 million Facebook customers from a researcher, drawing consideration to the usage of information analytics in politics.

Concerns over the social media large’s practices, the position of political adverts and potential interference within the 2016 Brexit vote and U.S. elections are among the many subjects being investigated by British and European regulators.

While Facebook says it complies with EU information safety legal guidelines, a particular listening to of lawmakers from a number of international locations around the globe in London criticized Zuckerberg for declining to seem himself to reply questions on the subject.

“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 mentioned.

“So Mr Zuckerberg’s decision not to appear here at Westminster (Britain’s parliament) to me speaks volumes.”

Richard Allan, the vice chairman of coverage options at Facebook who appeared in Zuckerberg’s stead, admitted Facebook had made errors however mentioned it had accepted the necessity to adjust to information guidelines.

“I’m not going to disagree with you that we’ve damaged public trust through some of the actions we’ve taken,” Allan advised the listening to.

Facebook has confronted a barrage of criticism from customers and lawmakers after it mentioned final 12 months that Russian brokers used its platform to unfold disinformation earlier than and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, an accusation Moscow denies.

Allan repeatedly declined to provide an instance of an individual or app banned from Facebook for misuse of knowledge, apart from the GSR app which gathered information within the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Legal paperwork reviewed by Reuters present how the investigation by British lawmakers has led them to grab paperwork regarding Facebook from app developer Six4Three, which is in a authorized dispute with Facebook.

Damian Collins, chair of the tradition committee which convened the listening to, mentioned he wouldn’t launch these paperwork on Tuesday as he was not able to take action, though he has mentioned beforehand the committee has the authorized energy to.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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