Facebook shares plummet as fallout spreads

Social media giant Facebook has seen its shares plunge two percent over the last two days as the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data breach continues.

 
 

Facebook shares fell more than two percent in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

This marked the third straight day of declines in the social media platform stock. Since Monday, when news of the data breach broke, Facebook has lost nearly $50-billion of its total market value.

Currently, the company’s market capitalisation is at $488.48-billion.

Founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has been summoned by United Kingdom and European Union lawmakers to answer questions about allegations the social media giant was involved in a data breach.

The company is facing massive backlash after the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened an inquiry into whether Facebook improperly allowed political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to access personal data from 50 million users.

The consultancy firm was reportedly involved in President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

According to a report by the Guardian over the weekend, a whistleblower shared that Cambridge Analytica obtained the personal information of millions of US voters, then developed a software programme which profiled these citizens to predict voting patterns. These voting patterns were then developed into micro-targeted advertisements that were used to influence voting decisions.

Bloomberg first reported that the FTC’s investigation will focus on whether or not Facebook violated a settlement in 2011, where it assured the agency that it would improve users privacy settings, preventing third parties from acquiring users’ data without their express knowledge and consent.

No official announcement has been made by the FTC regarding its investigation as yet, however, it did release a statement saying that they took “any allegations of violations of our consent decrees very seriously”.

Zuckerberg is yet to release a statement on the situation, but it’s been announced that the company is set to release a statement within the next 24 hours.

 
 

 
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