Facebook is hoping to work with regulators in the European Union (EU) after new evidence revealed the data scandal with Cambridge Analytica could have impacted 87 million Facebook users, much more than the 50 million the social media company originally said had their data accessed without their consent.
According to news from Bloomberg, citing Christian Wigand, the spokesman for Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, the commissioner has been in touch with Facebook to set up high-level contacts after the company contacted the EU following a letter Jourova sent Facebook in March.
“The growing scale of CambridgeAnalytica [sic], Facebook case is very worrying, 87mln people were affected, also from EU,” Jourova said in a tweet Thursday. “Facebook needs to step up the response and protect the European data.” The commissioner went on to say that she will seek out updates on all the probes of the social media giant. “The latest figures published by Facebook confirm that European users have also been affected,” Wigand told reporters.
On Wednesday (April 4), the social media giant revealed that data on as many 87 million users, most of them living in the U.S., was accessed by Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm that helped get President Donald Trump elected. The revelation of the data breach led to widespread outrage and prompted a series of investigations both in the U.S. and the U.K. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg will appear before Congress next week but has declined to do the same in the U.K.
According to Bloomberg, on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday (April 4), Zuckerberg said Facebook “didn’t focus enough on preventing abuse and thinking through how people could use these tools to do harm as well.” His comments helped lift shares of the company’s stock, which had been under pressure for the last two weeks, at times dragging down other tech issuers.
Elizabeth Denham, the U.K.’s privacy commissioner, commented on Thursday (April 5) that Facebook is working with regulators. Denham welcomes the changes Facebook is making but said “it is too early to say whether they are sufficient under the law,” noted Bloomberg. She said the government has been looking at the use of data analytics for political reasons since May of 2017 and is currently investigating 30 organizations, including Facebook.