Local MP Julian Knight has put the spotlight on Facebook’s privacy policies during a high-profile session of Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee.
His comments to Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technical officer, over the alleged misuse of its data for political campaigning by the firm Cambridge Analytica, drew international coverage including the New York Times, CNN, and ABC News and Bloomberg, as well as making headlines in British papers such as the Daily Mail and Guardian.
Addressing Shroepfer, Julian said: “I put it to you today, sir, that Facebook is a morality-free zone destructive to a fundamental right of privacy. You aren’t an innocent party wronged by the likes of Cambridge Analytica. You are the problem. Your company is the problem.”
In an intervention widely picked up across the British and American media, he further said that Facebook’s response to the revelations about Cambridge Analytica suggested a “pattern of behaviour” that included “bullying journalists, threatening academic institutions, and potentially impeding investigations by lawful authorities”, and demanded an apology.
Julian has also denounced Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, for his “shameful” refusal to appear before MPs – even whilst agreeing to give evidence to the European Parliament.
Commenting on the news, Julian Knight said:
“Millions of British citizens use Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg should have the decency to come before their elected representatives and answer for the appalling conduct of his company. I and my colleagues will continue to put the spotlight on Facebook’s activities and conduct until we have secured urgently-needed reforms and consumer protections.”