Facebook steamrolled over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, posting another record quarter



Information of over 80 million Facebook users was allegedly harvested by CA, leading to a global backlash against the Silicon Valley-based company.

After having consistently risen by between $1-2 billion each quarter throughout 2017, the first three months of 2018 saw earnings fall from $12.97 to $11.97 billion.

Facebook now has 1.45 billion daily active users worldwide and 2.2 billion monthly users, both of which are up 13% year over year. It's also rolling out ad transparency tools giving users the ability to see who is running a political ad, who they're targeting, how much they're paying and what other messages they're sending out.

David Wehner, Facebook's CFO, said Wednesday that the law, called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), could cause user growth in Europe to stall or decline slightly quarter over quarter.

Much of Facebook's ramp-up in spending is for safety and security, Wehner said. The category includes efforts to root out fake accounts, scrub hate speech and take down violent videos.

Facebook has been asked a whole lot of fresh details from the volume of data collected, how it is collected, consent, authorisation of apps on Facebook platform along with why the site that has 27 per cent of its business coming from India failed to detect the breach.

Visitors take photos in front of the Facebook logo at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on March 28.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced Kevin Martin, a former Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, would become its interim head of USA policy, replacing chief privacy officer Erin Egan, as the company continues to grapple with the political fallout from the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Facebook shares climbed more than 6.9% to $170.75 in after-hours trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

First quarter profits also grew, reaching $4.9bn compared to $3bn previous year. Whether the scandal is taking a toll on membership or advertising at the online social network was not likely to be revealed in earnings numbers from the first three months of this year, and the topic was expected to come up during a routine call with financial analysts.

Embroiled in a massive data breach controversy, Facebook has beaten Wall Street's estimates by raking in $11.97 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2018. "To each query, the company that faces probes in different parts of the world for illegal data mining, has provided one line answers which don't explain anything or provide any assurances". A handful of advertisers, including Mozilla, maker of internet browser Firefox, pulled their ads from Facebook.

Smartphones and other mobile gadgets are designed around apps, instead of people, the Facebook CEO explained.

Despite the Cambridge Analytica scandal breaking towards the close of Q1, the social network was still able to report a 49% annual increase in total revenue, with ad spend up 50% year-over-year. Of that amount, approximately $11.80 billion United States dollars ($15.16 billion CAD) was generated through the company's advertising efforts.

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