Facebook's Being Too "Evasive" Over Cambridge Analytica, Say UK Officials

By Tom Pritchard on at

We all know that Facebook has been under intense scrutiny recently, what with the whole Cambridge Analytics scandal going on and various executives being hauled in front of politicians in the US, EU, and UK. That last group has never been happy with the way Facebook reacted to the mess, particularly since Mark Zuckberg refused to face a parliamentary committee in person. Now that same committee is criticising the company for displaying  "a pattern of evasive behaviour."

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee is the committee in question, currently tasked with investigating Facebook's ties with Cambridge Analytica as part of its ongoing inquiry into fake news. Now, following Facebook most recent response to the committee, chair Damien Collins said:

“In these responses, Facebook continue to display a pattern of evasive behaviour – a pattern which has emerged over the course of our inquiry. In some cases, these answers even show inconsistencies in their evidence to us. The lack of public scrutiny of social media and tech companies like Facebook, considering their profound influence over our lives, is a matter of serious concern for this Committee. We will be addressing this point as part of our interim report being published in due course.

 

Collins has outlined a number of areas where Facebook's answers have been lacking, including refusing accountability for fraudulent ads on the site, not sharing country-by-country revenues, and refusal to share how many resources are being devoted to security. He assumes the latter is something the company would be "proud to share" following the backlash in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He also pointed out a blatant inconsistency regarding political advertising, noting oral evidence given in February that claims "there are rigorous internal rules within the company when it comes to regulating and processing such advertising". More recently, however, he says Facebook has claimed they're unable to distinguish between adverts that are and aren't political.

 

Recently Facebook has promised to increase transparency, though it's clear Collins feels a lot more can be done. [Gov via CNET]