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Facebook has appointed the 'privacy committee' on its board designed to prevent another Cambridge Analytica scandal (FB)

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook's board of directors has appointed the members of a new Privacy Committee.
  • The company was required to create the committee as part of its settlement with the FTC over privacy violations.
  • The committee, which is chaired by former McKinsey partner Nancy Killefer, is intended to help prevent another Cambridge Analytica-like scandal. 
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Facebook's board of directors has formed a formal Privacy Committee, a measure required under the company's settlement with federal regulators after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

On Wednesday, Facebook announced that the committee's members are directors Peggy Alford, Nancy Killefer, and Robert M. Kimmitt, with Killefer acting as the committee's chair.

The formation of the committee marks the latest step in Facebook's attempts to move on from its scandal-ridden past. Political research firm Cambridge Analytica's misappropriation of 87 million users' data that came fully to light in 2018 was one of a chain of privacy-related scandals for the company, and ultimately resulted in a $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission. That settlement also required a number of changes at the company, including the formation of the board privacy committee — but has also been criticised by some privacy advocates for not requiring more extensive changes in Facebook's operations.

Killefer was appointed to Facebook's board in March 2020, and was previously a senior partner at consulting firm McKinsey who has also worked for the US Treasury and the IRS. Alford previously worked as CFO for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropic vehicle, as well as PayPal. Kimmitt has worked at law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, the US Treasury, and Time Warner.

"Our audit & risk oversight committee's responsibilities previously included oversight of risks related to privacy and data use. In connection with the formation of our privacy committee, our board of directors has delegated to our privacy committee the responsibility for overseeing risks related to privacy and data use, including management's periodic assessment of our Privacy Program and any related policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management," Facebook wrote in a financial filing on Wednesday.

Facebook's board of directors has experienced significant turnover in the past few years. A recent Wall Street Journal investigation detailed how multiple board members critical of Zuckerberg's management of the company have stepped down, to be replaced by friends and loyalists to the 35-year-old billionaire.

In addition to Alford, Killefer, and Kimmitt, Facebook's other board members are Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, investor Peter Thiel, investor and former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Estee Lauder Companies CFO Tracey Travis, and former Obama administration official Jeffrey Zients.

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