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Facebook executive to be grilled by MPs

A Mark Zuckerberg figure with people in angry emoji masks outside Portcullis House in Westminster, London ahead of Mike Schroepfer, Chief Technology Officer at Facebook, appearing before the DCMS inquiry into fake news. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 26, 2018. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

A senior Facebook representative will be questioned by MPs over concerns about the social network's business practices.

The firm's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, will be questioned on Facebook's policies on the privacy and protection of users' data and its relationship with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has repeatedly asked the internet giant's boss Mark Zuckerberg to appear, but the firm said Mr Schroepfer would be "well placed" to respond to the MPs' questions.

The committee is conducting an inquiry into fake news and is also examining the use of personal data in political campaigning following the Cambridge Analytica storm.

On Tuesday the Cambridge academic at the centre of the row dismissed claims the information he harvested from Facebook users could have been used to influence voters.

Dr Aleksandr Kogan, who gave the personal information of millions of Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica in 2014, told MPs that personality scores he gave to the company were "highly inaccurate" and "made little sense" for political advertising.

"The idea that this data is accurate, I would say, is scientifically ridiculous," he said. "The idea that even if you had a lot more data you could make it super accurate is also pretty silly."

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