EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

Last Monday, the European Commission sent a letter to Facebook asking whether EU citizens were involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The EU is taking the turn from U.S. which has already opened an investigation to find out how Facebook permitted data breach of 50 million users.

Facebook has been experiencing fierceful attacks both by the regulators and the market. The multinational company officials have to explain how a political consultancy managed to build voter profiles on behalf of Donald Trump’s campaign by using Facebook data the moment that the U.S. firm already loses more than 70 billions of dollars.

EC expresses data privacy concerns

The executive body of the EU mobilised two days ago when the EU justice Commissioner Vera Jourova sent to Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg a letter requesting for further details on the scandal. More specifically, Vera Jourova asked: “Have any data of EU citizens been affected by the recent scandal? If this is the case, how do you intend to inform the authorities and users about it?” Furthermore, the Commissioner wrote to Sheryl Sandberg to verify whether similar situations currently exist. Ms Jourova expects to receive an answer from Facebook’s COO within the next two weeks.

However, the answer, if any, is most likely going to be unsatisfying even if a Facebook spokeswoman said that it is going to take that chance to brief the Commission on the issue responding to the questions. The latter can be retrieved by the stance that the company is so far holding. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has already declined the invitations by British lawmakers who are asking him to explain how this data privacy breach happened.

EU citizen data exposed?

Germany justice minister Katarina Barley met with Facebook executives who verified her that about 1% out of the 300.000 users whose data are likely exposed came from Europe. The German minister underlined that promises of tougher controls by the giant social media company are not sufficient. More in detail, Katarina Barley mentioned last Monday: “Facebook admitted abuses and excesses in the past and gave assurances that measures since taken mean they can’t happen again. But promises aren’t enough. In future we will have to regulate companies like Facebook much more strictly.”

U.S. against Facebook

At the other side of the Atlantic, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened an investigation last Monday about the privacy practices of Facebook and in particular the Cambridge Analytica scandal where the consultancy gathered data from 50 million Facebook users to be used to influence votes in the Brexit referendum and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Moreover, the U.S. consumer protection regulator and attorneys representing 37 U.S. states requested clear explanations on the case.

Facebook founder has also been invited by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to testify at an April 10 hearing. As if this wasn’t enough, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee formally asked Mark Zuckerberg to appear at a congressional hearing. U.S. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, commented on the issue that: “Facebook’s failure to protect confidential user information likely violated specific legally binding commitments, but also basic norms and standards”.

Market losses

The U.S. giant firm has been experiencing consequential losses as its share has dropped almost by 18% since March 16 when Facebook first acknowledged that user data had been improperly channeled to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook share has reached levels of July 2017 when its value was around 150$. As it seems, investors are highly affected by the recent scandal. How long is it going to last? Investors are most likely going to exploit this stock price drop and buy more basing their decision on the long-term growth prospects of the company.

Advertisers and users dissatisfaction

Apart from the billions of dollars that Facebook has already lost, the image of the company has also been affected. Several advertisers have been removing their Facebook ads. Wireless speaker maker Sonos stated that will remove advertising from Facebook while retailer Pep Boys, Mozilla Corp and bank Commerzbank AG suspended all advertising. Elon Musk deleted Facebook pages both for SpaceX and Tesla. What is more, opinion poll by Reuters/Ipsos which was released on Sunday showed that less than half of the Americans believe that Facebook follows U.S. privacy laws.

All in all, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is costing a lot to Facebook which will be pressured by the U.S. and EU regulators to alter its data privacy rules and provide more rigid protection to its users. It remains to be seen which other data privacy cases are going to be unveiled in the near future, the fines to be imposed and the measures to be taken in order to prevent similar data privacy violations.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Taxation: Commission refers Germany to the Court for its failure to apply EU rules on VAT for farmers

Can self-charging batteries keep us connected for ever? A young scientist explains

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

Much more than a ‘lifeline’ for millions of households, remittances can spur global growth, says UN agency

Strength in unity: Commission makes recommendations for the EU’s next strategic agenda 2019-2024

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

10 expert predictions for the next decade in Chinese AI

Here’s what a Korean boy band can teach us about globalization 4.0

The importance of pre-departure training for a better understanding of global health issues

South Eurozone urgently needs fairer distribution of taxation burden

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

With potential to boost profits by up to 20 per cent, a woman’s place is at work, says UN labour agency

Cédric in India

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

Erasmus+: a turning point in the lives of 5 million European students

For Youth Rights: steps forward for better protection.

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

With 10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, donors pledge $2.6 billion

Afghanistan: Bring ‘architects’ of latest ‘appalling’ suicide bombing to justice, says deputy UN mission chief

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

COP21 Breaking News_07 December: “The world is expecting more from you than half-measures”, UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon cries out from Paris

Commission concludes that an Excessive Deficit Procedure is no longer warranted for Italy at this stage

FROM THE FIELD: Keeping Morocco’s indigenous culture and conservation in balance

Zuckerberg, a paella, and the mighty EU questionnaires that would stop Whatsapp acquisition by Facebook?

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

Three steps we must take to secure the future of our forests

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

Fleeing Venezuela: MEPs to probe humanitarian conditions in Colombia and Brazil

Posting of workers: final vote on equal pay and working conditions

Children are so hungry in one British town they are eating from bins

These cities score an ‘A’ for environmental action – but hundreds more are falling behind

Mergers: Commission fines Canon €28 million for partially implementing its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation before notification and merger control approval

How universities can become a platform for social change

The Government of China and UNIDO partner to develop technical guidelines for standards of small hydropower development

UN Security Council condemns Taliban offensive as a blow against ‘sustainable peace’

5 lessons for the future success of virtual and augmented reality

Drawing scenarios for drifting Britain; elections or May’s deadlock?

Deeper reforms in Korea will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

India is a latecomer to AI. Here’s how it plans to catch up

Mine action is at ‘the nexus’ of peace, security and development: UN official

The Banking Union may lead to a Germanic Europe

How microfinance develops decent work

FROM THE FIELD: What do you want to be when you grow up? One day I will…

Alarm over violent attacks on lawmakers, opposition in Malawi, ahead of elections

EU to give more power to national antitrust authorities in a bid to secure regulatory fines

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

How do you get people to trust self-driving vehicles? This company is giving them ‘virtual eyes’

IMF: The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation

Pledging ongoing UN support during visit to cyclone-hit areas, Guterres praises resilience of Mozambicans

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

The Sino-American trade conflict may be resolved soon

EU to present a “hefty” exit bill to the UK moments before Brexit negotiations

The EU’s trading partners: US, China and the rest

Luxembourg has achieved high levels of growth and well-being but must do more to preserve and share prosperity

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s