Facebook is facing serious questions after it was revealed that political data firm Cambridge Analytica illegally harvested over 50 million user profiles to help manipulate election campaigns for Donald Trump as well as the pro-Brexit camp. According to reports by the Observer and New York Times, Cambridge Analytica illegally used the personal information obtained via Facebook to profile and target voters with political advertisements. While Facebook has itself said there was no data breach, considering that users had authorised the app to access the data, it has also come under severe criticism over how it handled the whole affair.
Now, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton has tweeted saying it is time to Delete Facebook. Acton and Jan Koum founded WhatsApp together. While Koum is the current CEO of the messaging app, Acton left the company earlier this year. Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for nearly $19 billion. Acton’s tweet of #DeleteFacebook does not come at a good time for the company, and will further raise questions about the social network and its policies.
While WhatsApp has not commented on the issue, the debate around data privacy and policies on the social network will continue. In the United Kingdom, where it has been shown that Cambridge Analytica helped the Pro-Brexit campaign, there are calls for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to come testify before them.
According to an Associated Press report, the chairman of the UK parliamentary media committee, Damian Collins, said Facebook officials “have been misleading to the committee.” The committee has now summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify. “It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process. Given your commitment at the start of the New Year to ‘fixing’ Facebook, I hope that this representative will be you,” Collins wrote to Zuckerberg according to the news report.
Check out Brian Acton’s tweet below
In fact, the WhatsApp co-founder is not the only one talking about #DeleteFacebook. There are quite a few tweets around the hashtag, with the social network being accused of not taking user privacy and data seriously. With Cambridge Analytica, Facebook said it had suspended the organisation and its parent company the SCL Group from the network. Interestingly, Facebook also suspended the account of the whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who revealed key details and documents about the whole exercise. Facebook has also said that it has hired a digital forensics firm, Stroz Friedberg to conduct a comprehensive audit of Cambridge Analytica.