Facebook privacy scandal fuels 'litigation swarm'

Facebook rewrites terms of service amid data scrutiny

Last week, Mr. Zuckerberg declined to appear before a United Kingdom parliamentary committee seeking evidence on how companies acquire user data from Facebook, choosing to send a deputy instead, according to a letter from Facebook published by the parliamentary committee.

The updates do not ask for new rights to collect, use or share data and will not affect the settings people have chosen on their Facebook accounts, Rob Sherman, Facebook's deputy chief privacy officer, said in a phone interview.

Oh, how the mighty Zuck's image has fallen amid scandalous revelations about the social network's allowing consultants for Donald Trump's presidential campaign to gain access to the personal information on millions of us Facebook users.

Zuckerberg will appear before the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11, the panel said on Wednesday.

The committee is the first of three congressional panels that requested Mr Zuckerberg's evidence to announce a hearing date.

Zuckerberg has openly apologized for the scandal, in which millions of users data was used in a study that was in turn given to analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. It will also prevent apps from using Facebook Login to collect users' personal information, including details like their religious or political views, relationship status, education and work history, and more.

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In mid-March The New York Times, along with The Guardian and The Observer, reported that Cambridge Analytica and its British counterpart SCL had harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users through an app called thisisyourdigitallife, which offered personality quizzes.

Zuckerberg, on the call with reporters, said Facebook should have done more to audit and oversee third-party app developers like the one that Cambridge Analytica hired in 2014. That data grab netted Cambridge Analytica the data on the friends of those who responded to the survey, without their permission.

Zuck did not explicitly apologise for the improper use of data by Facebook, and his plans did not represent a big reduction of advertisers' ability to use Facebook data, which is the company's lifeblood.

In light of these events, Facebook stock has taken a tumble.

U.S. law bans foreigners from making contributions or spending money on behalf of a U.S. election campaign but it was not illegal for the Trump campaign to retain Cambridge Analytica's services, according to, a former Republican member of the U.S. Federal Election Commission. "I am glad that Facebook is taking some steps to pinpoint and address this activity", Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

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