Facebook trying to restore public trust after data leak
The data leakage of Indian Facebook users was once again raised during US congressional hearing on Tuesday when company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg tried to ensure protection of integrity of elections in countries, including India, Hungary and Brazil.
He was testifying before the Senators and House panel in a joint hearing. He noted that there are several important elections in countries like India, Hungary and Brazil this year and his company wants to ensure protection of integrity.
Zuckerberg testified amid a firestorm over the alleged hijacking of data of millions of Facebook users by London based firm Cambridge Analytica. The issue was raised by opposition in the recent parliamentary session about BJP’s alleged use of the Facebook data provided by the British company for winning different elections.
While describing his company’s cooperation in the investigation about Russian involvement in Trump election campaign in 2016 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed that his company is “working with” special counsel Robert Mueller in the federal probe and has been working hard to change its own operations after the harvesting of users’ private information by a Trump campaign-affiliated data-mining company.
Recently Facebook founder had publicly apologized for his company’s errors in failing to better protect the personal information of its millions of users, a controversy that has brought a flood of bad publicity and sent the company’s stock value plunging.
Earlier this year special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies in a plot to interfere in the 2016 presidential election through social media propaganda.
On Monday, Zuckerberg said it had been “clearly a mistake” to believe the data-mining company Cambridge Analytica had deleted user data that it had harvested in an attempt to sway elections.
He began a two-day congressional inquisition with a public apology for the way Facebook handled the data-mining of its users’ data. He took responsibility for failing to prevent Cambridge Analytica, which was affiliated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, from gathering personal information from 87 million users.
Zuckerberg had apologized many times already, to users and the public, but this was the first time before Congress. He also is to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. India is 9;30 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time (EST).
India’s Ministry of Information & Technology had issued notices to both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, seeking their responses regarding the data breach of Indian users of the social media site and if it was used to influence elections.
Facebook had submitted to Indian government saying over 500,000 people in India have been potentially affected by the data breach involving Cambridge Analytica.
Observers believe that during the US joint senate hearings, Zuckerberg is trying to both restore public trust in his company and stave off federal regulations that some lawmakers have floated.