Mark Zuckerberg summoned over Cambridge Analytica claims

Facebook Mark Zuckerberg Cambridge Analytic
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by TechCrunch, via WIkimedia Commons

The boss of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is being summoned to the United Kingdom parliament over the claims that Cambridge Analytica had used their user’s data without their permission. Zuckerberg is being called to give evidence about the use of the personal data that Cambridge Analytica had access to.

The consulting firm is being accused of harvesting more than 50 million Facebook users’ data without their permission. The London-based firm denies that they have done anything wrong regarding the claims.

Both of the companies are being investigated following the claims of whistle-blower, Christopher Wylie. Wylie claimed that he worked with Cambridge Analytica to amass large quantities of data through a personality quiz on Facebook named “This is Your Digital Life”.

Wylie claims that the quiz was taken by more than 270,000 people but the data of 50 million users was harvested through the candidates’ friends without their permission. The users that were mainly affected resided in the United States.

He also claimed that the data was sold to Cambridge Analytica which was used to psychologically profile people and deliver pro-Trump propaganda to them which ultimately influenced the 2016 presidential election. This claim is consistent with the story and leaks of Cambridge Analytica employees saying that they were responsible for the presidential victory of Donald Trump.

Once the word of Wylie’s whistle-blowing had hit the public his social media accounts across the platforms that Facebook owns have all been terminated. That means that Wylie no longer has access to Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram.

Damian Collins who is the chairman of the Commons inquiry sent a letter to Zuckerberg accusing the Facebook boss of misleading the committee at previous hearings regarding the question if the data had been obtained without the user’ consent. Collins stated that it was time to hear from the senior Facebook executive and get an accurate picture of the extent of the failure that had occurred.

Amidst all the news of the current state of Facebook their shares have dropped by over 10% and are continuing to fall. A rough estimation shows that Facebook has lost $50 billion from their market value. It has also been reported that Zuckerberg has been selling his shares at an alarming rate due to the rapidly decline of his stock.

In the two weeks prior to the struggles that the company had faced, Zuckerberg has sold over 1 million shares. Currently he has sold more Facebook shares than any insider of any other company.