Facebook Responds to Bipartisan Group of 41 State AGs led by PA AG Josh Shapiro Seeking Information on Facebook’s Business Practices
HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that an investigation he is leading has determined 2,960,311 Pennsylvanians’ Facebook data was shared with Cambridge Analytica and other third parties.
Facebook provided this estimate in response to a bipartisan letter demand on the social network led by Attorney General Shapiro that includes a total of 41 state Attorneys General. Facebook estimates it shared a total of 70.4 million American users’ data with third-party developers.
“Nearly a quarter of the Commonwealth’s residents – 22 percent – had their personal data compromised by Facebook’s privacy breach,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Social media users don’t expect to have their information given to third party developers without their knowledge. Businesses like Facebook must take significant steps to better protect their users’ privacy and personal data. I’m leading a national investigation with my colleagues to ensure Pennsylvanians and Americans are protected from these kinds of unauthorized information sharing.”
It is not yet known how many Facebook users there are overall in Pennsylvania. The investigation is ongoing.
In March, Attorney General Shapiro led a coalition of Attorneys General in sending a letter demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s business practices and privacy protections. Facebook’s policies allowed developers to access the personal data of “friends” of people who used certain applications – without the knowledge or consent of the users. Yesterday, one of the third-party developers, Cambridge Analytica, announced it will shut down and enter bankruptcy proceedings in the United Kingdom.
Since the discovery of the data-sharing lapse, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has promised to tighten security protocol and crack down on data-mining companies who access the vast social network. Zuckerberg testified before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees in April.