00:37 GMT +323 October 2019
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    A laptop showing the Facebook logo is held alongside a Cambridge Analytica sign at the entrance to the building housing the offices of Cambridge Analytica, in central London

    EP President Zuckerberg Has to Testify Over Data Abuse

    © AFP 2019 / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
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    The private data of over 80 million Facebook users was revealed to have been leaked to the Cambridge Analytica consultancy firm without their permission, which then used the info to influence the 2016 election in the United States.

    European Parliament President Antonio Tajani on Wednesday called on Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg to testify before EU lawmakers over concerns about social network's privacy, pointing out that the company was a subject to EU law.

    "Facebook is a company registered in Dublin, subject to EU law. It must cooperate and be accountable to the European Parliament, its regulator. Mr Zuckerberg has a responsibility to provide explanations in person to elected representatives of EU citizens, as he did with Congress," Tajani said on Twitter.

    Last month, US media reported that the personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested without their permission by Cambridge Analytica consultancy, which worked for multiple political campaigns using the data to develop a mechanism that would predict and influence the behavior of voters.

    Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower behind the data abuse scandal, said in the UK House of Commons in late March that the AggregateIQ (AIQ), a Canadian data analytics firm, allegedly affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, had been involved in pro-Brexit campaign. Cambridge Analytica, in its turn, stated that Wylie had been a part-time contractor and left the company in July 2014, so he had no direct knowledge of the company's work since then.

    On April 10, Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress over privacy concerns. Since the news of misused data appeared, the Facebook CEO has apologized and promised to patch security vulnerabilities. The company has already tightened access for third-party apps and introduced a feature allowing users to remove such applications in bulk.

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    Cambridge Analytica, European Parliament, Facebook, Antonio Tajani
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