Facebook's data crisis deepens as questions mount

Facebook is facing a crescendo of questions about how user data was harvested for political purposes, and for a secon...

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 9:55 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2018 9:55 PM

Facebook is facing a crescendo of questions about how user data was harvested for political purposes, and for a second day investors dumped its stock over the risk the scandal poses to its business.

Some U.S. lawmakers are calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify. British members of Parliament are summoning Zuckerberg too. But for now he is remaining silent about the uproar.

Investors are taking the matter seriously. Facebook stock had fallen about 5% for the day as of midday Tuesday, compounding a nearly 7% decline the day before. More than $50 billion has been wiped off Facebook's market value this week.

The scandal erupted over the weekend when The New York Times and UK media reported that Cambridge Analytica tried to influence American voters using information improperly gleaned from 50 million Facebook users.

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica, but the ensuing controversy has seriously hurt the brands of both companies.

There's even a swell of search interest in "how to delete your Facebook account," although experts doubt Facebook will actually lose many users as a result.

In the wake of the damning stories, there may be multiple government investigations into Facebook's privacy practices.

The US Federal Trade Commission declined to comment on a Bloomberg report that it is investigating Facebook but said in a statement it is "aware" of the issues that have been raised.

"We take any allegations of violations of our consent decrees very seriously," it added, referring to the promises of privacy companies make to their users.

On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley called the Facebook breach a "serious issue."

Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee, warned that if Facebook won't police themselves, "we will."

Later in the day, a Facebook spokesman said the company will brief multiple congressional committees this week.

The company is also holding a staff meeting on Tuesday to address questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the company's policies on data protection, two sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

The questions of data privacy thrown up by the scandal strike at the heart of Facebook's business, which relies on more than 1.4 billion users engaging with the platform each day.

Every time they do, they share a bit of information about themselves: what they like, who their friends are, what they want to watch. That data is the product Facebook sells to advertisers who want to target specific customers.

If the Cambridge Analytica scandal leads to tougher data protection regulations -- as some policymakers are demanding -- or puts people off sharing as much about themselves online, that could hurt Facebook's revenue, and that of all social media platforms. (Google stock was also down on Tuesday, though not nearly as sharply as Facebook.)

"What matters for this stock, at this time, are the headlines," wrote analysts at Macquarie Capital.

Related: Facebook's Cambridge Analytica auditors stand down at UK request

Cambridge Analytica is also coming under government and public pressure. The London-based data analysis firm worked on President Donald Trump's campaign.

Facebook says the user data in question was initially properly gathered by a psychology professor, who then passed it to Cambridge Analytica. That breached Facebook's rules.

Cambridge Analytica says it deleted all the data in 2015 when it learned that Facebook rules had been broken. But a former contractor, Christopher Wylie, disputes that.

The company has agreed to an inspection by Facebook-hired auditors, Facebook said Monday.

Meanwhile, UK data protection officials are seeking a warrant to enter Cambridge Analytica's offices in London to inspect its servers and systems. They are also examining Facebook's response to the unauthorized use of its data.

An undercover TV report turned up the heat even more on Monday. It suggested that Cambridge Analytica was prepared to consider using bribes and entrapment to create videos for clients it could then post to the internet to sway voters.

Cambridge Analytica says it does not engage in bribery or entrapment and says the Channel 4 News report was a misrepresentation of how the company conducts its business.

More bad news could emerge later Tuesday. Channel 4 News will broadcast a new report at 3 p.m. ET on Cambridge Analytica's work in the United States.

Related: What you need to know about Facebook's data debacle

In a statement on Tuesday, Cambridge Analytica says it has been cooperating with the UK Information Commissioner's office on a number of matters, including the Facebook data, since early 2017 and offered to share "all the information it has asked for."

The European Union parliament has also said it will investigate.

"Only dictatorships impede social networks or block them, but a democracy must provide social networks with rules that prevent them from using citizens' private data against their will," said European Parliament President Antonio Tajani.

"This is why we ... have to be very strict, understand what happened, how a company that works with Facebook has used personal information for private interests, then we need to intervene. We need rules for this."

-- CNN's Dylan Byers, Sherisse Pham, Nelli Black, Carol Jordan, Lindsay Isaac, Simon Cullen and Nada Bashir contributed to this article.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1390015

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1541781574
Cuyahoga1361632341
Hamilton989691326
Montgomery681371161
Summit569981051
Lucas51769869
Butler48139663
Stark42350983
Lorain32165539
Warren30497338
Mahoning27564643
Clermont26081297
Lake24873422
Delaware22600147
Licking20818246
Fairfield20789223
Greene20667275
Trumbull20378516
Medina20178290
Clark18235332
Richland16749236
Portage16442231
Wood15973209
Allen14405261
Miami14063261
Muskingum12976155
Wayne12234244
Columbiana12046242
Tuscarawas11248271
Marion10935150
Pickaway10642129
Scioto10585127
Erie9888171
Ross9648177
Lawrence8967125
Hancock8637143
Ashtabula8509187
Geauga8272156
Belmont8262188
Jefferson7736175
Huron7566131
Union743951
Washington7396126
Athens712065
Sandusky6984135
Darke6884137
Knox6839122
Seneca6533137
Ashland6078115
Auglaize596888
Shelby5845104
Brown578272
Mercer565890
Crawford5591117
Defiance5579101
Madison552171
Highland550982
Fulton543583
Clinton535781
Logan520587
Preble5123111
Putnam4909107
Guernsey487664
Williams469982
Perry464454
Champaign454964
Ottawa443584
Jackson436663
Pike400745
Morrow398251
Coshocton393669
Fayette385053
Adams371575
Hardin367570
Gallia356658
Holmes3326111
Henry331869
Van Wert321471
Hocking312370
Wyandot286058
Carroll267052
Paulding247443
Meigs223042
Monroe193149
Noble174442
Morgan170329
Harrison161741
Vinton141919
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Monday is another nice and breezy day with warmer temperatures.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events