The United States tech regulation agency and its Canadian counterpart have launched investigations into Facebook after allegations that Cambridge Analytica, or CA, took the personal data of 50 million users to influence the 2016 presidential election.
CA was hired by U.S. President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and has recently been accused of breaking U.S. electoral law, allegations the company has denied.
The United Kingdom-based company suspended its chief executive officer Alexander Nix following comments caught on camera by Channel 4 News where appeared to propose strategies his company could utilize to discredit politicians via the Internet.
Facebook stock slid on Monday and didn’t slow to top the drop on Tuesday, when reports surfaced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has started a probe into its handling of CA.
“We have received a complaint against Facebook in relation to allegations involving Cambridge Analytica and have therefore opened a formal investigation,” Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien said in a statement.
Facebook has vehemently denied any knowledge of what Cambridge Analytica was doing with its users, and quickly moved to suspend their accounts with the social media giant.
In a statement, Facebook said it was “outraged” that it had been “deceived” over the alleged misuse of its data.
The British and European legislatures have called on Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to come and present evidence before them, BBC reported on Tuesday
More details to follow. Image of Facebook from The Independent.