At a Glance: Zuckerberg to testify, other probes pending
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress next week, while an EU official plans to speak with Facebook’s No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, over the company’s data practices.
Authorities around the world are investigating allegations that the political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica inappropriately accessed data on as many as 87 million Facebook users to influence elections.
Here’s a look at the various investigations and requests for information.
IN THE UNITED STATES:
— CONGRESS: Zuckerberg is set to testify April 10 in a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees and April 11 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This will be his first-ever testimony before Congress. Individual congressional members have also written Facebook seeking answers.
— FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, says the agency’s probe will include whether the company engaged in “unfair acts” that cause “substantial injury” to consumers. Facebook reached a settlement with the FTC in 2011 offering privacy assurances, though the FTC’s probe may extend to Facebook’s compliance with U.S.-EU principles for transferring data.
— INDIVIDUAL STATES: The attorneys general for 37 U.S. states and territories have written a letter seeking details on how Facebook monitored what app developers did with data collected on Facebook users and whether Facebook had safeguards to prevent misuse.
— EUROPEAN UNION: The EU is contacting data protection authorities in its member nations and in the United States to better follow up investigations into whether Facebook breached EU privacy laws. EU spokesman Christian Wigand says EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova will have a telephone call next week with Sandberg.
— U.K. INFORMATION COMMISSION: Britain’s information regulator has seized evidence from the London office of Cambridge Analytica. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has said the prime allegation against Cambridge Analytica is that it acquired personal data in an unauthorized way.
— U.K. PARLIAMENT: The U.K. parliamentary media committee has summoned Zuckerberg to testify. The chairman, Damian Collins, says his panel has repeatedly asked Facebook how it uses data. He says Facebook officials “have been misleading to the committee.”
— ITALY: Italy’s competition authority has opened an investigation. Authority chairman Giovanni Pitruzzella told Sky News24 that the investigation will focus on Facebook’s claims on its home page that the service is free, without revealing that it makes money off users’ data.
— AUSTRALIA: Australian authorities say they are investigating whether Facebook breached the country’s privacy law, which requires organizations to ensure personal information is held securely.
— INDIA: India’s government has sent a notice to Facebook asking whether the personal data of Indian users has been compromised.
— INDONESIA: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology says it has asked the National Police to investigate possible violations.