Facebook’s Role in Data Misuse Sets Off a Storm on Two Continents

“It is not acceptable that they have previously sent witnesses who seek to avoid answering difficult questions by claiming not to know the answers,” Mr. Collins said in a statement. “This also creates a false reassurance that Facebook’s stated policies are always robust and effectively policed.”

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Facebook’s Role in Data Misuse Sets Off a Storm on Two Continents
Facebook’s Role in Data Misuse Sets Off a Storm on Two Continents

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In the United States, the attorney general of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, announced on Saturday that her office was opening an investigation. “Massachusetts residents deserve answers immediately from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” she said in a Twitter post that linked to the Times article.

Also on Saturday, the two top Congressional Democrats leading inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 election — Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and Representative Adam Schiff of California — called for investigations of the Facebook data leak.

“This raises serious questions about the level of detail that Cambridge Analytica knew about users, whether it acquired that information illegally and whether it sought to abuse that information in support of President Trump’s political campaign,” said Mr. Schiff, who is the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee.

He added that Facebook needed to explain how it “informed users in advance of these kinds of data transfers, and whether it can demonstrate that this data has indeed been destroyed.”

Paul Grewal, a vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook, said in a statement on Sunday that the company was looking into whether the data in question still existed. “That is where our focus lies as we remain committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information,” he said.

Correction: March 18, 2018

An earlier version of this article misidentified the role of Senator Amy Klobuchar on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is a Democratic member of the committee, not the ranking Democratic member. (The ranking Democrat is Senator Dianne Feinstein.)

Follow Matthew Rosenberg on Twitter at @AllMattNYT

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