Data leak: Ahead of US Senate hearing, experts coach Mark Zuckerberg to handle questioning

Ahead of his tour to Washington where he will be testifying before US lawmakers, the Facebook founder is said to be getting coached by several experts on how to handle the pressure and questioning.

Data leak: Ahead of US Senate hearing, experts coach Mark Zuckerberg to handle questioning

WASHINGTON: In the wake of alleged misuse of user data on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg - founder of the social media giant - will on Tuesday appear before the US Senate. On April 10, Zuckerberg will appear before a joint hearing of the US Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees while on April 11, he is scheduled to testify at the US House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Ahead of his tour to Washington where he will be testifying before US lawmakers, the Facebook founder is said to be getting coached by several experts on how to handle the pressure and questioning.

On Monday, Zuckerberg reportedly met some lawmakers, including Florida Democratic Sen.

Facebook has come under fire in recent weeks after it was revealed that the personal data of millions of users of the website fell into the hands of a political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica that worked for US President Donald Trump's campaign.

The firm's former employee Christopher Wylie accused Cambridge Analytica of gathering the details of Facebook through a personality quiz in 2014. He alleged that because 270,000 people took the quiz, the data of some 50 million users, mainly in the US, was harvested without their explicit consent via their friend networks.

On April 5, the social media giant, however, revealed that the data of as many as 87 million users was improperly shared with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, far greater than the 50 million previously estimated.

Wylie further claimed the data was sold to Cambridge Analytica, which then used it to psychologically profile people and deliver material in favour of Trump during the 2016 US presidential elections. He also criticised the firm for running campaigns in "struggling democracies", which he called "an example of what modern-day colonialism looks like," as per PTI.

Denying all allegations, Cambridge Analytica has, however, maintained that none of the data acquired was used as part of the services it provided to the Trump campaign.

Amid data breach backlash, Facebook recently said that it will overhaul its privacy settings tools to put users "more in control" of their information. The updates will include improved access to Facebook's user settings and tools to easily search for, download and delete personal data stored by them.

A new privacy shortcuts menu will allow users to quickly increase account security, manage who can see their information and activity on the site and control advertisements they see, they had also said. "We've heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed," chief privacy officer Erin Egan and deputy general counsel Ashlie Beringer had said in a post.

(With inputs from agencies)

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