Sunday, September 26, 2021

Facebook suffers worst decline on Wall Street since March 2014

New York, USA, Mar 19 (EFE).- Facebook ended Monday’s trading on Wall Street with a decline of 6.76 percent, its worst one-day drop since March 2014, after it has been revealed that a UK political consulting firm inappropriately obtained private data from more than 50 million Facebook users in the US for political purposes.

At the end of the trading session, the poor performance of Facebook, which has a market capitalization of more than $537 billion, dragged down two of the main indicators of Wall Street, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, which lost 1.84 and 1.42 percent, respectively.

In addition, Facebook’s drop spread to other major tech companies such as Alphabet, the umbrella company that encompasses all of the Google divisions, which went down 3.03 percent, Amazon (-1.70 percent), Netflix (-1.56 percent), Twitter (-1.60 percent) and Snapchat (-3.47 percent).

Facebook’s drop during Monday’s trading came after the London Observer and The New York Times revealed Saturday that the UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica in 2014 obtained data from more than 50 million Facebook users in the US and used this to build a software program to predict and influence the decisions of voters.

The California-based firm began Monday’s trading session with a 5.33-percent decline, and subsequently dropped further in mid-session, when the shares lost 7.09 percent to stand at $172, its worst setback in a single day since September 2012, according to experts, representing a loss of more than $40 billion.

However, it rebounded after the firm announced that it will hire an auditor to investigate whether Cambridge Analytica still has the user data, which the latter said it had deleted in 2015.

“We have hired a digital forensics firm, Stroz Friedberg, to conduct a comprehensive audit of Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica has agreed to comply and afford the firm complete access to their servers and systems” Facebook said in a statement.

The case could also cost Facebook a multi-million dollar fine for possible violation of a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulation to protect the privacy of social networking users.

In addition, the Attorney General of the US State of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, announced on Saturday the opening of an investigation into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, after the latter was hired in June 2016 by the election campaign of now-President Donald Trump for more than $6 million.