Facebook continues to face questions and scrutiny over personal data

WASHINGTON – Facebook continued facing questions as the Federal Trade Commission will reportedly begin its own investigation into how a political data firm linked to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had access to personal information from more than 50 million Facebook profiles.

“I don’t want my information out there,” Naomi Shreves said, a sophomore at IUPUI who doesn’t have a Facebook account.

Cambridge Analytica obtained Facebook account data without users' knowledge. Published reports say the company retained the data after claiming it had been deleted. Chris Wylie, who once worked for Cambridge Analytica, was quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted.

“That’s crazy,” Destiny Lee said, a sophomore at IUPUI.

Facebook Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman says the company would be willing to speak with federal regulators.

A spokesperson for Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said Facebook officials will participate in a staff-level briefing in the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday.

“Everybody wants this information,” Mark Pugh said, president and owner of ISERVPRO. “What they do with it, whether it’s legal or not, that’s a different subject.”

Pugh, who works with small businesses on internet security, said he believes Congress will begin to act.

“I’m not for regulatory stuff,” he said. “But in situations like personal privacy, I am for that scenario. We really need to consider what information is considered private and what information needs to be protected across the board on the internet.”

The overall impact remains widely unknown for the social media giant that relies on the trust of its users.

“It’s kind of scary,” Shreves said. “When you sign up, you never read all the policy things they make you agree to, and I think people need to be more aware.”