Germany’s minister asked Facebook to clarify over user data safety concerns

Vastavam web: Germany’s justice minister Katarina Barley has asked Facebook to clarify whether the personal data of the social media site’s 30 million users in the country were protected from unlawful use by third parties, according to a report in the Funke group of German regional newspapers.Barley, in remarks published on Thursday in the newspapers, said Facebook’s management in Europe must explain to the German government how data of millions of American Facebook users reached Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy hired by U.S. President Donald Trump for his 2016 election campaign.

She also said it was unacceptable that social media users “are spied on in order to be targeted with election ads or bombarded with hate messages against political rivals”.Clear rules were needed to prevent such misuse of user data, which poses a threat to democracy, she said in the newspaper report.The revelation has knocked nearly $50 billion off Facebook’s stock market value in two days and hit the shares of Twitter (TWTR.N) and Snap (SNAP.N) over fears that a failure by big tech firms to protect personal data could deter advertisers and users and invite tougher regulation.

Facebook declined to comment directly on the testimony of the ex-employee, Sandy Parakilas.In announcing the suspension of Cambridge Analytica and related researchers from Facebook late last week, it said it now requires app developers to justify any data they collect and how they are going to use it