Tech

Other big tech firms could have to face UK lawmakers after Facebook data scandal

Key Points
  • Executives from large technology firms could be called to appear in front of British lawmakers as they continue gathering evidence about fake news and data practices, Damian Collins MP told CNBC.
  • Collins said he would not rule out asking more technology firms to give evidence on their data collection practices, but there are no plans for now.
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UK lawmaker: There's a big concern about how data is used in elections

Executives from large technology firms could be called to appear in front of British lawmakers as they continue gathering evidence about fake news and data practices in the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, a member of parliament (MP) told CNBC Wednesday.

Damian Collins, the chair of the British parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said he would not rule out asking more technology firms to give evidence on their data collection practices, but there are no plans currently.

"Well we've already spoken with with Google and YouTube and Twitter as part of our inquiry and we'll be looking to hold further evidence sessions after the Easter recess. And we have not at the moment decided to call other tech companies, but we may well do," Collins told CNBC in a TV interview.

Last week, Collins invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in front of lawmakers to give evidence about the data fiasco. Facebook instead said it would send one other senior executive that directly reports to Zuckerberg instead.

The MP told CNBC Wednesday that he would again write to Zuckerberg to ask for clarification on whether he would speak to lawmakers on another occasion.

The MP is chairing a committee of lawmakers investigating fake news. The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica case however fell under its remit. Collins said that the Facebook case has made people aware of how much data is being collected about them.

"These issues are not just questions for Facebook but the spotlight has fallen on them. It's about how all companies gather and use data. I think there are two things that I think you can, consumers and users are really focused on in the last 10 days or so, which are, which is firstly just how much data is being gathered about them," Collins said.

"And then with the data security breach, the concern there is that data isn't necessarily safe."