The European Commission is demanding full cooperation from Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica ordeal that saw an American political consulting firm compromise up to 87 million people in 2014, including millions of Europeans. The legislative body of the European Union last called for the social media giant to collaborate on Thursday, shortly after Facebook revealed 2.7 million EU citizens may have had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica four years ago. The European Parliament previously invited Facebook co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to testify over the matter but the multi-billionaire is understood to have no intention to do so in the immediate future, having already endured roughly ten hours of congressional questioning in his home country earlier this week.
Some rapport between Facebook and top EU authorities has already been established last week, with Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova confirming she contacted the company's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the recent issues and how they'll fit into the Commission's investigation of the matter. No signs of major progress have yet stemmed from that correspondence, with Facebook informing EU regulators that it's working on tweaking and improving its platform so as to minimize the chances of it being misused in the future, a sentiment that Mr. Zuckerberg himself reiterated on numerous occasions during his congressional hearings held on Tuesday and Wednesday. The company has yet to detail the majority of its plans to combat malicious data harvesters, having so far only announced a new data abuse bounty program and intentions to limit third-party access to Facebook data in general.
The latter point remains a controversial topic in the industry that many people don't agree with. Jedidiah Yueh, Executive Chairman of data technology company Delphix who previously worked with Facebook, told AndroidHeadlines that the social media juggernaut should focus on ensuring the wrong people don't access sensitive data instead of completely locking up shop. "You don't necessarily have to stop access entirely to protect user data, Facebook could use masking, obfuscation techniques that deliver fictional data to those who shouldn't access the real thing," Mr. Yueh explained, having added that even fake data is important because developers use it for testing their apps and services. "The data can be faked when unauthorized parties want to access it but must still be accurately simulated for testing environments to work as intended," the industry veteran concluded.