Facebook shares closed higher in the US Thursday as the tech firm’s chief technology officer failed to impress a UK Parliamentary committee with his answers to the questions they posed over the social media platform’s practices relating to data privacy and other areas of the business.
A Parliamentary Chairman said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg could receive a formal summons to a second hearing.
Facebook shares ended the US Thursday trading session 9.06% higher at $174.16 as the stock continues to bask in investor optimism following its better-than-expected Q1 earnings report.
Facebook admits responsibility
Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer answered questions and gave evidence before a UK parliamentary committee, Thursday. He faced a variety of comments and questions, including a claim that Zuckerberg’s social media platform lacks morals.
“I put it to you today, sir, that Facebook is a morality-free zone destructive to a fundamental right of privacy,” said Conservative MP Julian Knight.
“You aren’t an innocent party wronged by the likes of Cambridge Analytica. You are the problem. Your company is the problem,” Knight added.
Schroepfer “respectfully” disagreed with that view. He added that the tech giant is responsible for the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. “You want us to say we’re responsible, which we have on multiple occasions,” the CFO said during the hearing.
Schroepfer specifically admitted that the company failed to read all the terms and conditions of the app from which Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested private user data.
The CTO also admitted that the tech company didn’t notify the UK’s Information Commissioners Office after it had learned of the data sharing problems.
Zuckerberg urged to attend UK Parliament
Damian Collins, the chairman of the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee said that some 40 questions in Facebook’s fake news inquiry were not answered satisfactorily by Schoepfer. He added that CEO Zuckerberg should clarify important details.
"Mark Zuckerberg's right-hand man, whom we were assured could represent his views, today failed to answer many specific and detailed questions about Facebook's business practices,” Collins said.
“We will be asking him to respond in writing to the committee on these points,” Collins said, adding that if he failed to respond, Zuckerberg would be issued a formal summons to attend a UK hearing.