Things will probably get a lot worse for Facebook before they get better. The UK parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee (DCMS) on Tuesday wrote a letter to Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who’s been noticeably silent on the Cambridge Analytica scandal so far. The DCMS is requesting “oral evidence” from Zuckerberg regarding this new user privacy scandal, and it’s a beauty to read.
“As I said in my statement, the Committee has repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and in particular about whether data had been taken without their consent,” DCMS’ chair Damian Collins said in his request for oral evidence letter. “Your officials’ answers have consistently understated this risk, and have been misleading to the Committee.”
But the following paragraph takes the cake, as Collins singles out Zuckerberg as the only suitable candidate.
“It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process,” Collins says, suggesting the UK parliament will accept testimony from any of Zuckerberg’s top lieutenants. “There is a strong public interest test regarding user protection. Accordingly, we are sure you will understand the need for a representative from right at the top of the organization to address concerns.”
But then Collins isn’t afraid to drop the mic on Zuckerberg. “Given your commitment at the start of the New Year to ‘fixing’ Facebook, I hope that this representative will be you,” he said. The full letter is available at the end of this post.
Zuckerberg, who basically vanished after various reports explained what Cambridge Analytica was able to do with all that user data generated from a Facebook app, has until March 26th to respond. The Facebook CEO won’t be speaking at an internal Facebook meeting on Tuesday, but he’s said to have plans to discuss the matter on Friday.