California Joins Coalition of States Demanding Answers from Facebook

Thirty-three states have singed onto a letter asking the embattled social media giant to answer questions surrounding the Cambridge Analytica data use scandal.

by Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times / March 27, 2018

(TNS) — California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra joined counterparts from 33 other states in demanding Monday that Facebook explain how personal information from millions of people was used without their consent by a political consulting firm with ties to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The letter asks Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to detail when his company learned that data were being used by the firm Cambridge Analytica, how many Facebook users’ information was taken and what policies exist to make sure consumers give consent before their personal information is used by third parties.

“Facebook left millions of Californians’ personal information vulnerable,” Becerra said in a statement, adding his office intends to “make sure that consumers’ personal information is kept private and secure.”

The letter was signed by top attorneys in 34 states including New York, Illinois and New Jersey. It was also signed by attorneys general for Guam, American Samoa and the District of Columbia.

The attorneys general wrote that they want a “full accounting” of what happened and that they are “profoundly concerned” by news reports that personal data from up to 50 million Facebook users might have been used by Cambridge Analytica to target political messaging during the last presidential campaign.

Zuckerberg said last week that Facebook would take action to try to prevent other outside parties from exploiting user data.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is also investigating the matter.

Becerra said the review by states is needed.

“My fellow attorneys general and I demand answers on behalf of all those whose trust and personal data has been compromised,” he said.

©2018 the Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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