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Deadline looms for Facebook boss to respond to MPs’ leaked data evidence request

Shares in Facebook have plunged in recent days.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has been told by MPs to respond by the end of Monday to a request to appear before.

He had yet to reply on Sunday evening, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

The billionaire founder of the social media giant has been summoned to give evidence about Facebook’s links to the political analysis consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Damian Collins, chairman of the DCMS committee, accused Facebook of previously misleading the committee by understating risks posed by firms who harvest vast swathes of personal data from millions of users of the social network.

Damian Collins urged Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of his committee (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

In a letter to Mr Zuckerberg on March 20, Mr Collins said: “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.

“The committee has repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and in particular about whether data had been taken without their consent.

“Given your commitment at the start of the New Year to ‘fixing’ Facebook, I hope that this representative will be you.”

Mr Zuckerberg took out adverts in many British and US Sunday papers, apologising for a “breach of trust” regarding the exploitation of leaked data in 2014.

They read: “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.”

Shares in Facebook have plunged in recent days over its handling of the scandal, with tens of billions wiped off its valuation.

A Government spokesman said: “We welcome steps by online platforms to tackle manipulation and disinformation, but more needs to be done.

Cambridge Analytica denies wrongdoing.


From Belfast Telegraph