Facebook rocked by new data breach scandal


Facebook logo is seen at a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F in Paris, France on January 17, 2017.

WASHINGTON – Facebook shares plunged on Monday following revelations that a firm working for Donald Trump&39;s presidential campaign harvested data on 50 million users, as analysts warned the social media giant&39;s business model could be at risk.

Calls for investigations came on both sides of the Atlantic after Facebook responded to the explosive reports of misuse of its data by suspending the account of Cambridge Analytica, a British communications firm hired by Trump&39;s 2016 campaign.

"This is a major breach that must be investigated. It&39;s clear these platforms can&39;t police themselves," Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar said on Twitter.

Expressing "serious concern regarding recent reports that data from millions of Americans was misused in order to influence voters," Klobuchar and Republican Senator John Kennedy called for Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives to appear before Congress, along with the CEO&39;s of Google and Twitter.

In Europe, officials voiced similar outrage.

Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, called the revelations "horrifying, if confirmed," and vowed to address her concerns while travelling to the United States this week.

READ: Trump consultant harvested data from 50m Facebook users: reports

In Britain, parliamentary committee chair Damian Collins said both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook had questions to answer following what appears to be a giant data breach, carried out in an attempt to influence voters&39; choices at the ballot box.

"We have repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and in particular whether data had been taken from people without their consent," Collins said in a statement.

"Their answers have consistently understated this risk, and have also been misleading to the committee."