British Parliament would like to see Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and it’s not to grant him honorary citizenship.
The U.K.’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee has asked the chief exec on Tuesday to testify in front of Parliament on how the social network protects its mountain of user data. Damian Collins, the chairman of the committee, was spurred on by the revelation 50 million users had their information unknowingly harvested by data firm Cambridge Analytica.
“It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process,” wrote Collins in his written request to Zuckerberg. “There is a strong public interest test regarding user protection,” he added.
UK Parliament digital media committee calls for Facebook’s Zuckerberg to appear and answer question on Cambridge Analytica pic.twitter.com/ezlImYSjOU
— CeciliaKang (@ceciliakang) March 20, 2018
The fallout from Cambridge Analytica calls into question how Facebook handles access to its data — and what can be done to stop unwanted third parties from paying for it. University of Cambridge Professor Aleksandr Kogan built an app downloaded by 270,000 people, but because he had access to their “likes” and “friends” information, he was able to sell 50 million personality profiles to Cambridge Analytica ahead of the 2014 U.S. midterm elections.
Facebook eventually banned app developers from pulling “friends” information in 2015. The issue, however, is Kogan violated its terms of service by selling his data to a third party, something which carries little repercussions.
Collins referenced Zuckerberg’s 2018 goal of “protecting our community” when wrapping up his request for a Facebook rep to visit the Palace of Westminster.
“Given your commitment at the start of the New Year to ‘fixing’ Facebook, I hope that this representative is you,” said Collins.
Zuckerberg, as of Tuesday morning, has not spoken on the issue.