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Missouri’s AG launches investigation into Facebook amid data harvesting scandal

April 3, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Missouri’s AG launches investigation into Facebook amid data harvesting scandal Screenshot/CBS News

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Missouri’s AG opens investigation into Facebook data scandal

On Monday, Missouri’s attorney general initiatedan investigation into the Facebook data scandal involving the utilization of personal information.

Josh Hawley’s office is asking that the social media giant reveals every time it shared data with a political group and how much such organizations paid for the data, a civil investigative demand indicated.

Bloomberg first broke the news of the demand notice, which comes at a time when Facebook is under fire after the revelations about how Cambridge Analytica, a data-driven consulting group in Britain, used the social media site and acquired access to personal data of roughly 50 million users.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify in front of the U.S. Congress, but the specific date of the appearance has not yet been determined.

The tech giant cast close to $80 billion of its value since the controversy came to light last month.

Hawley is asking for a timeline of Facebook’s communication with Cambridge Analytica and Aleksandr Kogan, the academic who designed a Facebook quiz and later passed on the data to the UK-based company.

The investigative request also asks to publish documents, communications, and evidence about Facebook’s meetings with the Obama campaign, who too used the platform to collect personal data during the election in 2012.

The Republican attorney general’s inquiry will decide whether Facebook was involved in deception, fraud or false promises, in breach of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

Facebook must provide information, including how many users of the platform were included in the 50 million people that Kogan collected data on and whether any sensitive information was exposed, by May 29th.

“As the chief law enforcement officer in the state, I will pursue those who mishandle the information of Missourians,” Hawley announced in a statement.

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