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Zuckerberg "Willing" To Appear Before Congress

by Countable | Updated on 3.22.18

UPDATE March 22, 2018: Following a statement posted on his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg did a series of interviews on Wednesday with CNN, the New York Times, and Recode about the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal.

Zuckerberg says that "if he's the right person" he will definitely testify in front of Congress about the exposure of tens of millions of users' data to the UK data-analysis firm without their consent. He also offered that perhaps Facebook should be regulated, though he did not specifiy what types of regulation he envisions

Countable's original story appears below.


What’s the story?

On Saturday the New York Times broke the story of how British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica managed to mine the personal Facebook data of 50 million users, most without their consent. That information was used to target advertising by the Trump campaign. In the wake of the report, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about what the company knew.

The data mining was done via a personality quiz and app Cambridge Analytica paid approximately 270,000 people nominal amounts to install. It allow the company to mine those user's Facebook information and activity. It also moved onto their friends and associates. Though the data mining app was allowed at the time under Facebook policy, the company researcher's plans to use the data were not.

All told, 50 million Facebook profiles were mined by Cambridge Analytica in pursuit of creative psychographic profiles to use in developing targeted advertising an other election efforts.

Cambridge Analytica jumped into the American political process during the 2014 midterm elections. The Hill reports that they were in talks with former Trump campaign staffer Corey Lewandowski in 2015.

In 2016 then-Trump campaign digital manager, and current Trump 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, contracted with the company. Cambridge Analytica designed target audiences for advertising and fundraising appeals, predicted voter turnout, and planned candidate Trump’s travel schedule.

In 2015 Facebook learned of the data leak but took no steps to notify users of the leak and only directed Cambridge Analytica to destroy the data. The company took no steps to retrieve or secure the data.

According to the Times, concerns about Facebook’s part in the leak of user’s data have raised concerns with various lawmakers. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has called for Zuckerberg himself to appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, have called for investigations of the company.

Cambridge Analytica is also being called to task by the British Parliament, which is seeking to see if the company was instrumental in guiding the Brexit vote by using data mined from European Facebook users without their consent.

What do you think?

Should Congress call Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify personally in his company’s role in the data leak? Should Cambridge Analytica be barred from working for campaigns in the United States, or not? Should they have to surrender all the harvested data? Does this change your sense of the security of the Facebook platform or how you will interact with the internet going into the next election cycle?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Mauricio Pesce via Wikipedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(102)
  • Christine
    03/19/2018
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    Zuckerberg must be held accountable AND with him, Mercer and Bannon, the owners/creators of Cambridge Analytica. Prosecute all three as traitors, they have assisted Putin as willing or unknowing useful idiots. All three have done major harm to our country. Please investigate!

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  • Keith
    03/20/2018
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    Hauling Zuckerberg in to testify is probably a good idea. But how is there no discussion about those kleptocratic, enemy of democracy billionaires - the daddy and daughter duo, the Mercers???? Those two are the ones that have some explaining to do.

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  • Judith
    03/20/2018
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    BAR CAMBRIDGE ANALITICA FROM ALL ELECTIONS AND CAMPAIGNS FORCE THEM TO DESTROY ALL STOLEN INFORMATION THAT THEY POSSESS AND THAT FACEBOOK POSSESSES ! PUT ZUCKERBERG ON THE HOT SEAT IN CONGRESS AND FORCE HIM TO COME CLEAN AND FORCE HIM TO CLEAN UP FACEBOOK ! I WILL DEFINITELY BOYCOTT FACEBOOK AND ANYTHING ZUCKERBERG IS INVOLVED IN IF THEY DO NOT COMPLY !

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  • John
    03/20/2018
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    Multiple points - Any data collected other than what is initially approved should be immediately deleted or criminal prosecution should follow. We are so naive and need regulations to protect us. Facebook does not charge for their service however their stock has increased from $38 per share to $172 per share. How do they do that? By selling advertising and your data! Wake up America! Have Zuckerberg testify before Congress. Facebook should ultimately be responsible for all data provided and it's use.

    Like (28)
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  • Robert
    03/19/2018
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    Data mining on social media platforms should not be allowed. There should be a right to privacy, for social media companies to be using trickery, to mine personal information, is just wrong. It’s basically the same tactic that is used in identity theft.

    Like (25)
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  • Paraleeg
    03/20/2018
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    Zuckerberg must be held accountable!!

    Like (17)
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  • John
    03/19/2018
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    Facebook and the 45 campaign goons need to be hauled into Congress and made to answer!

    Like (13)
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  • Kramer
    03/20/2018
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    Hope zuckerberg falls harder than his stocks have

    Like (12)
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  • Vanessa
    03/20/2018
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    I think Zuckerburg is just as surprised and alarmed as everyone else at how Facebook was manipulated....Get on it and protect us!

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  • KansasTamale
    03/20/2018
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    Definitely. Facebook allowed a secondary company to take OUR data & find out who were likely to vote for and then created - fake news stories to divide us.

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  • Marc
    03/20/2018
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    Yes, under oath, in public

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  • DrCindyBean
    03/20/2018
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    This was military level psychological operation against citizens of USA. This & weaponized hacked emails, troll farms-this is warfare. 2016 elections are illegitimate/trump is illegitimate. This administration & everything it has done-illegit! Warfare! Trump/Putin must be ousted. Bean 34251

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  • Timnyc
    03/19/2018
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    Facebook and all providers of the internet must cooperate with the FBI and federal law enforcement agencies in there investigation into local and international governments attempts to attack our democracy.

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  • Maryjane
    03/20/2018
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    It's obvious now that we must demand an END to the tyranny of money-fuelled politics. From the rotting mess of the Mercer Family & their use of Steve Bannon & Cambridge Analytics to "change the political culture", Citizens United, & the Koch brothers, we have arrived at the nadir of our democracy in the election of the despicable Donald Trump. FIRESTORMS of righteous public anger are on the horizon, seeing the foul details of his campaign come to the light of the Mueller investigation.

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  • Rebecca
    03/20/2018
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    Deactivated my FB account today. Yes !!! Congress should absolutely question FB and anyone involved in this whole mess should be questioned and charged with any appropriate crimes. FB had to be aware of the data that Cambridge Analytica had as they had FB advisors working with Trump campaign experts (Cambridge Analytica) during the campaign in 2015 and 2016. Did they not wonder where they got 50 million FB users profiles? But all FB has said since the election is they were not aware. What a laugh. FB is at least complicit in the “fake news “ that Trump campaign used to get him elected.

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  • Nicole
    03/19/2018
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    Absolutely! We must hold everyone who was involved accountable, including significant jail time in a regular prison, NOT rich-people jail!

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  • Captainbinkman
    03/19/2018
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    FB sucks.

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  • Barbara
    03/20/2018
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    Mercer and Bannon's activities are clearly criminal, and should be dealt with as treasonous. Zuckerberg seems to have been duped originally, but is complicit in covering for his company's security breach. His actions (or rather inactions) should be dealt with separately. Regardless of what penalties, fines, or criminal charges are enacted against each of these three men, it remains (as is always the case) the unwitting millions of Americans who will pay the price.

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  • MinnesotaMom
    03/20/2018
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    Facebook is evil. People look away from the evidence of evil when it surfaces over and over because Facebook provides services & entertainment they enjoy. I quit Facebook & "deleted" my account & someone continued to use it for months. I had to "recover" it and delete it again.

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  • Sue
    03/19/2018
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    I think Zucherburg/Facebook should or be held accountable is some way. They were derelict in their actions by not vetting who was advertising with them and by allowing outside firms take info and use it against the American public. I have dumped Facebook and refuse to use it because of their laisse faire approach to information sharing with the American public.

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