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Germany seeks tighter Facebook controls after 'intolerable' leak

(Bloomberg) -- German Justice Minister Katarina Barley called Facebook Inc.’s handling of private data “intolerable” and said the government will tighten oversight of the social network.

Pledges by Facebook officials at a meeting in Berlin to disclose how many users were affected in the Cambridge Analytica data breach, inform the users and examine making algorithms more transparent were insufficient, Barley said.

“The promises are not enough,” she told reporters after talks with company officials including Facebook’s head of public policy for Europe, Richard Allan. “We’ll need much tighter supervision of companies like Facebook in the future.”

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The Facebook Inc. logo is displayed for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Facebook is struggling to respond to growing demands from Washington to explain how the personal data of millions of its users could be exploited by a consulting firm that helped Donald Trump win the presidency. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Governments across Europe have taken Facebook to task since revelations that the company allowed Cambridge Analytics to harvest data from millions of users.

In Germany, where the government and the public are particularly sensitive about the treatment of private information, lawmakers have been raising pressure on Facebook to guarantee privacy.

Barley said authorities will have to act more “bluntly, quickly and sensitively” against violations of data-privacy laws. She demanded that Facebook users gain more control over privacy settings.