|Photo By JD Lasica via Flickr|
Just where is Mark Zuckerberg? That is the question swirling in the minds of most people now that Facebook is embroiled in another controversy involving Cambridge Analytica, the British data firm that Donald Trump hired to help him in his 2016 presidential campaign, according to Kurt Wagner, reporting for Recode.
Cambridge Analytica allegedly amassed the personal data of some 50 million Americans without their consent in 2015, whose disclosure led to public outrage that caused Facebook’s stock to nosedive and stoked concerns of stricter governmental regulation.
Zuckerberg has made himself scarce since the scandal became public, which is a complete about-face of his actions following the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential scandal, where he was the symbol of Facebook’s public relations campaign.
A Facebook spokesman said Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg are working round the clock to get to the bottom of the latest crisis hounding the social network. Both executives were absent during an emergency meeting for Facebook employees on Mar 20, but Zuckerberg might show up during the weekly Friday meeting with employees scheduled on Mar 23.
The social network is reportedly going to be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, according to Bloomberg and a company insider. The FTC will send a list of questions to Facebook concerning the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. Facebook had previously signed a consent decree with the FTC in 2012, and the federal agency would most likely be interested if that agreement has been violated. It could be heavily fined if found guilty of violating the consent decree but that is not its biggest worry being a very profitable company.
Facebook's biggest worry is that the US government might impose more stringent privacy regulations, which could significantly impact its ability to collect private user information that is used in hyper-targeted advertising. And things seem to be moving in that direction, with the attorneys-general from the state of Massachusetts and New York announcing that they will conduct a joint investigation over Facebook’s latest le affaire.