Facebook lost 6.77% of its value on Wall Street on Monday, two days after reports that an analyst firm has collected private data from 50 million social network users to improve data quality. visibility and effectiveness of Donald Trump’s election campaign.
The group’s market capitalization, which stood at 538 billion US dollars at the closing on Friday, has melted by more than 30 billion dollars on this difficult day for the company.
The stock is down more than 13% from its US $ 195.32 record reached 1 February and more than 3% since the beginning of the year.
Facebook has resulted in Twitter and Snap, the company with the social network Snapchat. NASDAQ, a technology-weighted index, dropped 1.84%.
Investigations in view
The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, announced on Monday that MEPs would investigate the possible misuse of these data, adding that these allegations constitute “an unacceptable violation of the privacy rights of our citizens”.
In the United States, some members of Congress had already expressed their fears the day before about a possible violation of privacy as a result of this information.
“It’s clear that these platforms do not know how to be self-disciplined,” said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar on her Twitter account.
On Monday, Republican Senator John Kennedy rallied to his Democratic colleague to call Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress.
In a joint letter, the two senators asked the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, to hear Mr. Zuckerberg, as well as the bosses of Google and Twitter, an initiative that reflects the rise of a bipartisan front in Washington on how these companies use private data.
Information of concern
“We think this episode is a new sign of Facebook’s systemic problems,” said Brian Wieser, analyst at Pivotal Research Group.
For Brian Wieser, the risk that regulators will intensify their surveillance increases and the use of data for advertising purposes will become riskier. But he adds that this is unlikely to have a significant impact on the company’s current operations, as advertisers may be reluctant to “suddenly redirect their investments to the platform.”
“This episode is likely to taint the group’s image again and more seriously and could lead regulators to strengthen their monitoring,” said Petr Stabler, an analyst at Wells Fargo.
Daniel Ives, an analyst at GBH Insights, believes that Facebook will ease the concern of regulators by investing in security and improving its algorithms.
Facebook said Friday it was learned in 2015 that a professor of psychology at Cambridge University had lied to the company and violated its rules by transferring data to Cambridge Analytica for an application of psychological tests it had created.
The network suspended the companies and researchers concerned, adding that the data had been misused but not stolen, users having given their consent to their consultation.
Cambridge Analytica and his boss were not available immediately to comment on this information on Monday.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said over the weekend that it would include these potential new elements in its own civil and criminal investigation to find out if Facebook data was misused as part of British elections.