Zuckerberg Fields Senate Queries On Data Privacy, Russia, Mueller

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closing accounts operated by the Internet Research Agency, an entity linked to the Russian government that spread false and divisive messages through the platform during the 2016 campaign, and that has been indicted as a result of the Mueller probe.

Senate members said Tuesday they plan to hold a separate hearing to interrogate leaders of Cambridge Analytica.

As the scrutiny of Cambridge Analytica continues, facts may emerge that affect the FTC investigation, or change the view of Facebook’s role in the 2016 campaign.

Facebook maintains that Cambridge Analytica was able to get its user data because Kogan violated the terms of his agreement to use the social media platform for research purposes only, and not to share the data.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said at the hearing that Kogan provided Facebook his own terms of service that gave him much more leeway. “Facebook was on notice that he could sell the data,” Blumenthal said to Zuckerberg. “Doesn’t this conflict with the FTC order?”

Zuckerberg said he hadn’t seen the Kogan document. “Our app review team was responsible for that,” he said. “It certainly appears we should have been aware this developer submitted a term in violation of [our policy].”

Several senators inquired about possible coordination between Cambridge Analytica and the Internet Research Agency over the targeting of political or election-related ads.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked Zuckerberg if he knew how many of the Facebook profiles obtained by Cambridge Analytica belonged to people in the key U.S. swing states that influenced the outcome of the 2016 election, and how many of the 126 million people found to have been exposed to messages from the Internet Research Agency were among those whose profiles were shared with Cambridge Analytica.

“We’re looking at that,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s entirely possible there will be a connection there.”

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