by Graham Pierrepoint
The start of a new week has hardly washed away the bad tidings that have faced Facebook in recent days – as the scandal enveloping the social network, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica continues to bubble over. In short, the news that up to 50 million user credentials and data were shared via the social network in an effort to bolster Donald Trump’s US election campaign has come nothing smaller than a major shock to the system – with many media outlets now choosing to show their readers how they can safeguard their Facebook data and how they can effectively leave the network with their privacy intact. While shares in the firm dwindle, its worth is thought to be sure to recover – though this, at least for now, will remain to be seen.
For now, however, it is the turn of British MPs to get hot under the collar as Zuckerberg has reportedly refused to appear before a parliament committee in an effort to encourage him to share evidence as part of an investigation into fake news. MP Damian Collins is particularly disappointed that the Facebook CEO has declined a further invitation, calling the move ‘absolutely astonishing. “I would certainly urge him to think again if he has any care for people that use his company’s services,” Collins advised. A parliamentary committee investigation into fake news has been set up in an effort to probe its effects upon democracy – and this appears to be more than important now not only for the recent Facebook fallout, but also for the news that Cambridge Analytica may have had a role in how Brexit played out – though this, at the time of writing, is a story that is still building.
Watch: ▶ U.K. Lawmaker Calls on Zuckerberg for Testimony
It’s currently thought at the time of writing that Zuckerberg may testify before US Congress as pressure mounts – an act which may come as particularly insensitive in the eyes of Collins’ committee and many British MPs. Prime Minister Theresa May has not backed Collins directly on any such matters – stating that the issues surrounding Cambridge Analytica raise ‘very deep concern’, but it will ultimately be Zuckerberg’s own decision whether or not he appears before parliament to give evidence.
Watch: ▶ Brit Politicians Call Zuckerberg "Cowardly"
Where will it all end for Facebook? Are you still happy to use the service? If you are worried about your data – it is time to start considering tuning up your privacy and data sharing options within your profile.