Mark Zuckerberg loses $6 B in a day after Cambridge Analytica revelation

20th Mar 2018
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This is Zuck’s second big single-day loss in less than two months. Facebook too lost $35 billion in market cap after shares tumbled eight percent on Monday. 

Facebook is in the eye of a storm following revelations that a political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, hacked into the data of 50 million users on its network and manipulated it during the 2016 US Presidential elections. The impact of the data breach has now been felt on Facebook stock and owner Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth.

Zuck lost a massive $6.06 billion in a day after Cambridge Analytica’s data breach was outed. He owns over 400 million Facebook shares and is now valued at $68.5 billion. Despite the whopping single-day loss, Zuckerberg remains the fourth-richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires’ List, trailing Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Incidentally, in early February, Zuckerberg had lost $3.6 billion in a day following the global stock market crash. His wealth stood at $74.7 billion after the decline.

Facebook shares plunged eight percent on Monday in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica affair that came to the fore over the weekend. The tech giant lost $35 billion in market cap and is now valued at $502.6 billion. This is the worst tumble in six years for the social networking firm.

Several investors hit the panic button and sold off Facebook shares. Lawmakers, on the other hand, called for stringent regulations on social media companies and demanded to put a check on their ability to impact election results. Facebook was severely criticised by the American and British press too.

It is not just Facebook that took a hit though. Overall tech stocks on Monday tanked two percent on NASDAQ. Google parent Alphabet too lost four percent or $27.3 billion in market cap in the wake of EU wanting to impose a revenue tax on tech firms.

Facebook, meanwhile, has suspended Cambridge Analytica on its platform. It has even argued that it wasn’t a “data breach” as is being presented, but misuse and manipulation of data accessed by the British firm through legitimate channels.

Facebook has revealed that it had asked Cambridge Analytica to destroy the data in 2015. However, the latter continued to store “most or all” of the data and “harvested” it without users’ permission to influence US election results in 2016. The firm, of course, has denied allegations stating its “robust data protection policies complied with US, international, EU and national regulations”.

Interestingly, Cambridge Analytica seems to have found favour with Indian political parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. According to reports, the British firm and its India partner, Oveleno Business Intelligence, have been in talks with both the Congress and the BJP for a potential collaboration in their 2019 election campaigns.

There is no official word on it though. But, we are in for interesting times!

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