Facebook scandalIt’s been more than two weeks since our initial coverage of the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, and a lot has happened since then. Fed-up users are seeking to delete their Facebook pages, Facebook discovered that nearly 90 million users were affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg has issued statements, additional stories about Facebook’s data policies have emerged and Zuckerberg is slated to testify before Congress on April 10 and 11. To help you keep up with this story, we’re going over the most important developments.

How has Facebook responded?

Since Wednesday, March 21, Facebook has been addressing the public’s concerns and fielding questions from the media about the Cambridge Analytica incident as well as Facebook’s business model. Both Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, have been holding interviews with a large number of outlets – including The New York Times, CNN, Vox, Bloomberg, NPR and The Financial Times. These interviews have been dubbed a scripted “apology tour” by the more cynical, but they do contain nuggets of insight into Facebook’s governance structure and the scale and scope of the problems currently facing the organization. Aside from these appearances and statements, the company has also made it easier for users to access the privacy tools on the site in addition to making the overall privacy policy somewhat easier for the average user to understand. Facebook also promises to unveil new tools like one designed to inform users if they were affected by the Cambridge Analytica breach, which will be released April 9.

What else have we learned?

In addition to updated “breach” numbers, which were briefly mentioned in a blog post on Wednesday, users have learned a number of other things, including the fact that some Android users might have had their entire phone metadata (including call logs and text history) harvested by Facebook without affirmative consent. More worryingly, the company has suggested that most of its 2 billion users “… could have had their public profile scraped” via a technicality that allowed anyone to search for users if they knew their cell phone number or email. Given the number of emails and phone numbers that exist on the dark web, hackers could have easily abused Facebook’s search records en masse, and some evidence suggests that they have at least attempted to do so over the years.

What should we expect to happen?

Next week, Mark Zuckerberg will testify at two hearings. The first is a joint session before the Senate Judiciary and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committees on Tuesday, April 10 at 2:15 pm ET, and the second before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, April 11, at 10 am ET. While we don’t yet know the questions Congress will pose, we can expect them to revolve around not only clarifying Facebook’s role in the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, but also getting details on how Facebook conceives its duties to protect user data (and whether or not it can live up to those duties). Additionally, given the FTC’s move to investigate the company again, as well as the ongoing Russian investigation, there might also be a number of questions related to these issues. Experts have suggested the types of questions Congress should ask, and some politicians, like Congressman Antonio Cárdenas, have signaled what they intend to ask, but we will have to wait to see what ultimately ends up happening during the hearings.

For more tech-related stories, including follow-up posts on the Facebook scandal, keep reading our technology blog.