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Facebook says UK data was not shared; appeals fine in Cambridge Analytica case

The infamous Cambridge Analytica data-breach case took a new turn this week after Facebook (FB) defended the charges leveled by the British regulators against it. A day after Mark Zuckerberg expressed his resolve to continue as chairman of the company, Facebook said it appealed the $0.64-million fine slapped by the UK, citing the recent findings that information shared with Cambridge Analytica did not include those from Britain.

The move can be viewed as one of the many face-saving measures being adopted by the social networking firm in the wake of multiple allegations, including its role in propagating fake news to manipulate voter sentiment during the presidential election. Prior to the recent mid-term election, the company had launched a campaign to clean its platform by removing dubious accounts and pages.

The move can be viewed as one of the many face-saving measures being taken by the company in the wake of multiple allegations of privacy breach

Earlier, the regulatory agency had alleged that personal information of about one million Britons was compromised. However, a follow-up investigation by the UK Information Commissioner failed to gather sufficient evidence to prove that the details of UK citizens were shared without consent.

It all started after a British academic pooled in sensitive data belonging to about 87 million unsuspecting Facebook users and shared a part of that with  Cambridge Analytica.  So far, 2018 has been a challenging year for the company when everything seemed to be working against it. A closer examination of the state of affairs indicates that Facebook’s loose business policies are to be blamed for most of its problems, such as sharing user information with third-party apps without content.

Facebook’s crisis continues to hurt its stock

It is alleged that the Facebook management responded rudely to those who criticized the company for lack transparency in protecting user safety. Currently, there is a campaign demanding that Zuckerberg should step down as chairman of the company. Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, known for her skill to use diplomacy effectively during crisis situations, is also facing calls to step down.

In all probability, Zuckerberg will retain his positions as he owns the majority of the company’s voting shares and enjoys the backing of its board of directors. The other day, Zuckerberg had revealed his intention to continue to work with Sandberg, ruling out any leadership change in the foreseeable future.

Facebook stock closed Wednesday’s trading session up 1.8%, recovering slightly from the ongoing downturn. The stock has slipped about 27% since the beginning of the year.

 

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