Is Zuck A Coward? He Declines UK Parliament Summons Over Facebook Data Misuse

Is Zuck A Coward? He Declines UK Parliament Summons Over Facebook Data Misuse

So much for “We are accountable”.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has declined a summons from a U.K. parliamentary committee that’s investigating how social media data is being used, and — as recent revelations suggest, misused — for political ad targeting.

Facebook has offered up high-ranking officials to answer the committee’s questions — but not Zuckerberg.

From Techcrunch. Story by Natasha Lomas.

The DCMS committee (U.K. Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee) wrote to Zuckerberg on March 20 — following newspaper reports based on interviews with a former employee of U.K. political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which revealed that the company obtained Facebook data on 50 million users — calling for him to give oral evidence.

Facebook’s policy staffer, Simon Milner, previously told the committee the consultancy did not have Facebook data. “They may have lots of data, but it will not be Facebook user data,” said Milner on February 8. “It may be data about people who are on Facebook that they have gathered themselves, but it is not data that we have provided.”

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In his letter to Zuckerberg, Committee Chairman Damian Collins accuses Facebook officials of having “consistently understated” the risk of user data being taken without users’ consent.

Zuckerberg has declined the committee’s summons.

In a statement, a company spokesperson said it has offered its CTO or chief product officer to answer questions.

“Both Chris Cox and Mike Schroepfer report directly to Mark Zuckerberg  and are among the longest-serving senior representatives in Facebook’s 15-year history,” the spokesperson said.

“We would certainly urge (Zuckerberg) to think again if he has any care for people who use his company’s services,” Collins said.

Read more at Techcrunch.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)