“Facebook is not acting in an ethical way … We will not use it until it has proper ethical behavior,” said CEO Jean Pierre Mustier during a conference call with analysts, according to Reuters.
Mustier added that the decision was directly related to the social media giant’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, where up to 87 million Facebook users may have had their data shared with the controversial research firm. Cambridge Analytica then used the data to help get U.S. President Donald Trump elected.
The scandal has prompted multiple official investigations in the United States and Europe. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg also spent two days getting grilled by various U.S. lawmakers about whether Facebook should be regulated, whether it had turned a blind eye to fake news, whether it was to blame for Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and whether or not it could be trusted with the vast troves of user data that it has siphoned over the last 14 years.
According to reports, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have been conflicted as to what the social media company knew about how the data would be used. Last month, Facebook provided Congress with a 747-page document and disclosed that it has given companies special access to user data. The company said it granted 61 firms — including AOL, Nike, UPS and dating app Hinge — a “one-time” six-month extension to comply with its policy changes on user data.
Despite saying in 2015 that it had cut off developer access to its users’ data and their friends, the company disclosed it was still sharing information of users’ friends — such as name, gender, birth date, current city or hometown, photos and page likes. In addition, five other companies “theoretically could have accessed limited friends’ data,” due to access granted as part of a Facebook experiment.