02 Jul Feds expand probe into Facebook over its Cambridge Analytica actions and statements
Several federal agencies have begun an investigation into Facebook’s actions surrounding data acquired by Cambridge Analytica, as well as the company’s public statements in the aftermath of the resulting scandal.
According to The Washington Post, the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission have all been looking at how the UK company came to possess information about tens of millions of Facebook users, and the subsequent actions taken and statements made by Facebook.
“The emphasis has been on what Facebook has reported publicly about its sharing of information with Cambridge Analytica,” the Post wrote, citing sources familiar with the investigation, “whether those representations square with the underlying facts, and whether Facebook made sufficiently complete and timely disclosures to the public and investors about the matter. The Capitol Hill testimony of Facebook officials, including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, also is being scrutinized as part of the probe, said people familiar with the federal inquiries.”
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Fast Company that it has received inquiries from the three federal agencies, adding that, “We are cooperating with officials in the US, UK and beyond. We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues.”
In the aftermath of the scandal breaking in March, Facebook’s stock plummeted. But in the weeks afterwards and in the wake of strong quarterly earnings, the stock price has risen sharply, easily surpassing the pre-Cambridge Analytica price. However, the stock is down about 1% in after-hours trading as of this writing.
Meanwhile, although Congress has made noise about regulating Internet companies like Facebook, experts are skeptical that there were will be any meaningful regulation over the next few years.
Source: Fast Company