Facebook’s stock price sunk by more than 7% March 19, following a weekend of Cambridge Analytica backlash against the company, after it was revealed that Trump campaign consultant illicitly harvested the data of up to 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
The company has lost $42 billion in value since its close on Friday at the time of publishing. Last Friday, Facebook admitted in a blog post that it had been “lied to” about Cambridge Analytica and an affiliate’s activities in 2015. According to the social network, an app developed by Kogan asked Facebook users to take a personality quiz and passed the results onto Cambridge Analytica. That firm then used the data to build “psychographic profiles” about voters.
The downfall is unlikely to wane even though media reports say Facebook has hired Stroz Friedberg, a digital forensics firm, to conduct an audit of Cambridge Analytica,
“We are moving aggressively to determine the accuracy of these claims,” Facebook officials said in a statement. “We remain committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information. We also want to be clear that today when developers create apps that ask for certain information from people, we conduct a robust review to identify potential policy violations and to assess whether the app has a legitimate use for the data. We actually reject a significant number of apps through this process.”
“This is part of a comprehensive internal and external review that we are conducting to determine the accuracy of the claims that the Facebook data in question still exists,” the statement continues. “If this data still exists, it would be a grave violation of Facebook’s policies and an unacceptable violation of trust and the commitments these groups made.”