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DATE PUBLISHED: 2018/3/22 - 07:47:58
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Germany demands answers from Facebook over data breach

Justice Minister Katarina Barley said the Cambridge Analytica scandal bombarded users with hate speech. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been called to answer questions in the UKís criminal probe into the data breech.

Germanyís Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Thursday that she was seeking a meeting with Facebookís EU management, saying he had questions to answer about the revelations that a private company was able to harvest the data of millions of users. This data was then allegedly sold to political actors seeking to exploit usersí weaknesses with targeted political ads.
People were "against their will forced to interact...with hate speech," Barley told newspaper publisher Funke-Mediengruppe.

She called the scandal "a threat to democracy," adding that Facebookís European management owed the German government some answers.
Later, Barley said that she had requested an official meeting with the social media giantís European leadership team next week. "We have to determine how far we have to change the rules," Barley said, adding that users need to be made more aware of where their data is going and have clearer choices for data protection.

Barley said she would demand the company offer concrete solutions on data security.
Over the weekend, a whistleblower revealed that London-based data research firm Cambridge Analytica, a subsidiary of government contractor SCL group, had used a personality test set up by a psychology lecturer to gather data from 270,000 users. They were also able to gather data from these usersí friends, eventually getting information from 50 million people.

íWe builts models to exploit inner demonsí

Founded in 2013 by the archconservative Robert Mercer with input from Steve Bannon, who later became advisor to US President Donald Trump, the firm was ostensibly set up to support conservative political causes - though the White House has denied using Cambridge Analytica data for the 2016 election campaign.

Co-founder Christopher Wylie, who left the company in 2014, told Britainís Observer newspaper: "We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of peopleís profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons."
The scandal took on a wider scope when footage emerged of now-suspended CEO Alexander Nix implying to a reporter posing as a Sri Lankan politician that he could use bribery and blackmail to sway an election.

Zuckerberg has also come under fire from UK and EU officials. Britainís Information Commissionerís Office has asked the Facebook CEO to come give evidence in its criminal investigation into Cambridge Analytica, and EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova warned on a trip to Washington that Facebookís security breach was undermining democracy.

After several days of silence following Sundayís revelations, Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that Facebook would "step up" measures to protect user data.

"The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago," Zuckerberg said in a statement. "But we also made mistakes, thereís more to do, and we need to step up and do it."

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/9778


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