FACEBOOK marks its 15th birthday last Monday, having expanded from a dormitory room hobby project to a network of more than 2 billion people at the heart of online data privacy debate.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, several data breaches and internal correspondence suggesting an aggressive approach to its data-driven business model, have left the social network facing intense scrutiny from politicians and industry.

Many hold it up as the example of why social media requires tighter regulations right through.

But despite such scrutiny the company continues to grow - its latest financial results showed revenue up 30% and profits and profits up 61% on this time last year.

The site and its family of  apps - which includes Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger are now also used by 2.7 billion people every month.

But this is a scale which the critics believe only heightens  the need for Facebook and other platforms to be better held to account.

Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said last week that social media firms like Facebook, were now past the point of no return when it came to self-regulation.

''If anything, I think we've reached a point where we have to say we can't just rely on the goodwill of companies like Facebook to police their own platforms properly or even endorse their own rules,'' he said.

''We need external bodies that have got the power to set rules and standards for them.''

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on Facebook continues, in the next publishing.


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