COMMONS

Committee publishes Facebook answers

15 May 2018

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee publishes Facebook’s response to its letter which put 39 outstanding questions to the company after evidence from Mike Schroepfer, the company’s Chief Technology Officer on 26th April 2018. This includes a series of annexes of documents requested from Facebook, including the non-disclosure agreements signed with Aleksandr Kogan and Christopher Wylie.

Facebook answers not sufficient enough

Facebook’s answers do not fully answer each point with sufficient detail or data evidence, and the Committee plans to write again to address significant gaps in Facebook’s answers in the coming days.

Chair's comment

Chair of the Committee Damian Collins MP said:

"It is disappointing that a company with the resources of Facebook chooses not to provide a sufficient level of detail and transparency on various points including on Cambridge Analytica, dark ads, Facebook Connect, the amount spent by Russia on UK ads on the platform, data collection across the web, budgets for investigations, and that shows general discrepancies between Schroepfer and Zuckerberg’s respective testimonies. Given that these were follow up questions to questions Mr Schroepfer previously failed to answer, we expected both detail and data, and in a number of cases got excuses.
 
If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognises the ‘seriousness’ of these issues as they say they do, we would expect that he would want to appear in front of the Committee and answer questions that are of concern not only to Parliament, but Facebook’s tens of millions of users in this country. Although Facebook says Mr Zuckerberg has no plans to travel to the UK, we would also be open to taking his evidence by video link, if that would be the only way to do this during the period of our inquiry.
 
For too long these companies have gone unchallenged in their business practices, and only under public pressure from this Committee and others have they begun to fully cooperate with our requests. We plan to write to Facebook in the coming days with further follow up questions."

Further information

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