Facebook has not fully answered data privacy questions, say United Kingdom lawmakers

While the Cambridge Analytica scandal brought a lot of trouble to Facebook, it seems that this was just the tip of the iceberg for the social media platform.

"While Mr. Zuckerberg has no plans to meet with the committee or travel to the United Kingdom at the present time, we continue to fully recognize the seriousness of these issues and remain committed to working with you to provide any additional relevant information you require for your inquiry into fake news", wrote Stimson.

Damian Collins, the Conservative chair of the digital culture media and sport select committee, said: "If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognises the "seriousness" of these issues as they say they do, we would have expected that he would want to appear". The company CEO Mark Zuckerberg had promised a thorough investigation and audit into apps that had access to information before Facebook changed its platform policies in 2014 - significantly reducing the data apps could access.

According to the committee, it will be writing to Facebook again in the coming days to address the significant gaps that exist in the company's answers.

Appearing before the US Congress in April, Zuckerberg told lawmakers that his own personal data was part of 87 million Facebook users that was improperly shared with British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Archibong said that large teams of internal and external experts are working hard to investigate these apps as quickly as possible.

While Facebook did not mention the 200 suspended apps in question, there is also no clarity as to how long will the investigation take.

People had to register as a project collaborator to get access to the full data set, and more than 280 people from almost 150 institutions did so, including university researchers and those from companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

But it's also worth noting the way the MPs phrased some of these questions allowed Facebook this wiggle room - and opened up the avenue for debate on what a "real" answer would be.

The move has been slammed by critics because it effectively slips 1.5 billion users out of the rights offered under the General Data Protection Regulation.

With all that, deanonymizing the data would be a snap, Dixon said.

There were a couple of new insights, such as detail on the extent of Facebook data gathering across the net. However, this is yet another reminder that when you agree to sharing your data with one app, it is going to be mass circulated, ending up online.

"We were disappointed after providing a very significant amount of information to the committee at the last hearing that the committee declared our response insufficient", the letter stated.

  • Jon Douglas