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Facebook sending users privacy notification after data breach

10 April 2018
Facebook sending users privacy notification after data breach

After privately assuring senators that his company will do better, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is undergoing a two-day congressional inquisition that will be very public - and could be pivotal for his massive company.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will tell Congress in scheduled appearances this week that his company should have spotted Russian interference in the US presidential election earlier, a transcript of his testimony released on April 9 says.

"This was kind of an app that was being promoted during and around the election, and basically you could download this app, and then you could take this survey about different things, and then they would actually pay you", Epicosity Social Media Coordinator Skyler Crabill said.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg needs to prove that his company can keep user's private information secure.

The 33-year-old Facebook chief's testimony was released ahead of the first of two scheduled appearances before congressional committees on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, announced on April 4 that the testimony would take place.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to comment on Monday on whether he thought the administration should impose new regulations on Facebook.

Facebook said it was notifying users Monday if their personal data was shared with the data-mining company Cambridge Analytica.

"We're starting this in the United States and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months", Zuckerberg said. The social network has faced serious scrutiny following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in which Russian operatives used the platform to peddle fake news and disinformation. That was the giant loophole the British researcher legitimately used to access data but then unjustly sold to Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook says it began yesterday informing users whose data may have been shared with Cambridge Analytica, the London-based company which counts US President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign among its past clients, and which has disputed Facebook's estimate of the number of affected users.

Facebook has said it has seen little impact on its business from the privacy scandal despite a #deleteFacebook movement and concerns from advertisers.

CONTEXT: Zuckerberg controls 59.7 percent of the voting stock in Facebook.

Many people who have downloaded their Facebook data have also found that the company is tracking the history of their incoming and outgoing calls as well as text messages. "Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits", he said.

But the company actively opposes other attempts to rein in its power, including in California, where it contributed $200,000 to oppose the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, a proposed ballot measure that would allow consumers to see the information companies collect about them, let consumers ask companies to stop selling their information and hold businesses accountable for data breaches.

It says it received data on 30 million users but never used that information in the 2016 campaign. Moscow has denied the allegations.

The notice comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to face US Congress over the social network's involvement in the 2016 election and its connections to Russian Federation. Facebook has said there is a huge amount of work to be done to right the wrongs that have been identified and that this work will take years.

Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said he wanted candor from Facebook.

Zuckerberg's full testimony is below. Zuckerberg and his company are in full damage-control mode, and have announced a number of piecemeal technical changes meant to address privacy issues.