Klobuchar Wants Facebook's Zuckerberg to Testify on 'Data Grab'

March 18, 2018 10:16 PM

All your Facebook likes and friends’ lists may have made it into the wrong hands.

According to a report in The New York Times over the weekend, an analytics firm obtained that data leading up to the 2016 presidential election with the goal of influencing people in an effort to win votes.


According to the Times' report, the data was obtained through an online quiz.

RELATED: Facebook's Recurring Nightmare: Helping Muddy Up Elections

Many people didn’t know that when they logged on through Facebook, they were agreeing to hand over private data about the pages they liked and the people with whom they’re friends.

“It’s time for them to take responsibility,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on Sunday about the social media giant Facebook.

She’s calling for a full investigation and now wants founder Mark Zuckerberg to come to Capitol Hill to testify.

“The fact that they built a system that anyone can seem to break into and get the records – in fact they let them in and take some of them – that's just wrong,” Klobuchar said.

Mining data on social media has become the latest weapon of choice for campaigns.

According to The New York Times, the firm Cambridge Analytica obtained the data. Consultants for the Trump campaign and other Republicans are accused of using the data to influence voters.

Former Cambridge employee and whistle-blower Christopher Wylie explained how the data cam be turned into votes.

“You reveal all these little clues and if we have those clues then we can develop a profile of who you are,” he said in an interview with ABC News over the weekend.

Mike Haffely, a cybersecurity consultant in the Twin Cities, hopes this high profile case will be a wake-up call for users.

“It should be alarming for people,” he said. “They should definitely be aware that different companies are collecting and selling this data, and this is the first time we have really seen it be sold on this kind of scale and then being misused.”

RELATED: UK Lawmaker: Facebook Misled Parliament over Data Leak Risk

Cambridge Analytica said in a response to The New York Times story it has not violated Facebook’s terms of service. The Trump campaign has already said it did not use the data it collected from the firm.

The impact of the stolen data on the presidential election remains unclear. But with the midterms on the horizon, Klobuchar wants to move on from the behavior quickly.

“I think that candidates and campaigns have to abide by ethical standards," she said. "But if our government doesn't put the rules in place, then they will do all kinds of slimy things to get around it – and this is just one example of that.”


Ryan Raiche

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