Facebook reportedly delays plans to unveil its own smart speaker because of the data sharing scandal

Key Points
  • Facebook won't reveal its own smart speaker at the F8 developer conference in May, Bloomberg reported.
  • The company's hardware product is reportedly expected to be commercially available in the fall.
Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Facebook will not reveal its own smart speaker at the F8 developer conference in May due to the public outcry over the current data sharing scandal, according to a new report Wednesday.

The connected speaker would have pit the social network against the likes of Amazon and Google, both of which have their own line of smart speaker products. The company's hardware product was not expected to be commercially available until the fall. But Facebook is putting the May unveil of its product on hold because of the fallout from recent revelations, according to Bloomberg who cited unnamed sources. Facebook declined to comment on the report.

A quiz app harvested 50 million Facebook profiles for data which were then sent over to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that was caught claiming it handled the digital aspects of President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research (GSR) created the app that used psychological tests to gather data on users. According to whistleblower Christopher Wylie, Kogan then passed that data onto Cambridge Analytica, enabling the latter to develop software that could potentially influence voters in elections.

Cambridge Analytica has denied the allegations. The firm maintains that it deleted all data obtained by GSR after discovering GSR had not adhered to data protection rules.

Facebook's Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly decided to testify before Congress over the matter within a matter of weeks.

The full report by Bloomberg can be read here.