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Indonesia MPs grill Facebook officials on data breaches

From Reuters - April 17, 2018

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A Facebook official apologised to Indonesian members of parliament on Tuesday during a five-hour grilling at a public hearing on issues ranging from the misuse of personal data to the oversight of content by the social media giant.

Facebook has been hit by revelations that data of some 87 million users were improperly accessed by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on U.S. President Donald Trumps election campaign.

Indonesians are among the worlds biggest users of Facebook and authorities in the Southeast Asian country have demanded answers from the company on how personal data of its citizens was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

In a statement read out at the hearing, Facebooks head of public policy in Indonesia said that 1,096,666 people in Indonesia may have had their data shared, or 1.26 percent of the global total, after 748 people took an app-based personality quiz.

I truly apologize for this...I hope our answers can satisfy you, Ruben Hattari told MPs from a parliamentary committee.

At the hearing, Simon Milner, Facebooks Asia-Pacific vice president of public policy, said the company had deleted the app developed by academic Aleksandr Kogan and ordered Cambrige Analytica to delete any data it may have helped harvest.

Some of the MPs also focused on allegations that Facebook users personal data was used in online campaigns to play a role in Trumps 2016 election victory.

Can you convince me that what happenedin the U.S. wont happen here in this year of regional elections? asked Evita Nursanty, an MP from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Stuggle (PDIP), referring to a series of upcoming local elections.

Another MP, Junico BP Siahaan, also from the PDIP, said that if Facebook could not control hoax news then Indonesia should have the right to close it.

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