Mar 19, 2018 - Technology

Senate committee probes Facebook, Cambridge Analytica

Mark Zuckerberg walks in front of trees

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Senate Commerce Committee is sending written questions to Cambridge Analytica's parent company and Facebook about the revelation that the data consulting firm improperly gathered user data from the social giant.

Why it matters: This is the most aggressive action by Republicans yet to investigate the reports about the Trump-linked analytics firm.

“They’ve got responsibility to make sure that that information is used in an appropriate way, so we want to find out how it was gotten, how it was used, and we want Facebook obviously to be transparent about that.”
— Sen. John Thune

What they're saying: "We’ve got a questionnaire that we are sending out to the folks at Facebook and we’re going to have a series of questions for them to answer, and then we’re asking them to come in and brief us, and then we’ll decide based on that," said committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.)

The details: He said he wasn't sure yet whether Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg should testify before Congress, as some have called for. A committee spokesperson said the panel also planned to send questions to Cambridge Analytica parent SCL. A Facebook spokesperson said Monday night the company had received the questions and appreciated the opportunity to respond to them.

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