News Roundup: In Houston, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Apologizes For Failure To Protect User Data

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelApril 4, 2018 2:40 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Facebook’s chief operating officer was in Houston Tuesday for a public training event, aimed at helping small businesses improve their digital and social media skills.

There, Sheryl Sandberg also apologized for the company’s failure to protect users’ information. It was recently revealed data firm Cambridge Analytica deceitfully harvested information from millions of Facebook users.

It’s one of the few times Sandberg has spoken publicly about the scandal.

“Trust is at the core of what we do. It is hard-earned and it is easily lost. And we know we have a long road ahead of us to rebuild that trust. And you have my personal commitment from me, and from Mark, and from everyone who works at Facebook, that we are taking this incredibly seriously and we are committed to earning back your trust,” Sandberg said.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before Congress next week about the company’s data privacy practices. The hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee is set for April 11.

Five Texans sit on that committee and retiring U.S. Rep. Joe Barton,  a north Texas Republican, is the vice chairman.

A group of at least 20 Somali men who were part of a federal complaint alleging abuses at a detention center in west Texas…have now been deported.

From Marfa Public Radio, Carlos Morales has the details:

The Somali detainees were deported at the end of last week. They’re part of a group of about 80 African men that say they were physically abused while at a detention center in Sierra Blanca.

Johnathan Ryan says the deported men are going back to a country where they could face persecution. Ryan is with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

 “On the whole, most of these individuals arrived to the United States as refugees back in the early 90s following the breakout of civil war in Somalia,” Ryan says.

Ryan says his group and others involved will continue to call for an investigation into the west Texas facility. In a statement, ICE says it takes any allegation of misconduct seriously….and that all allegations are independently investigated.

Earlier this week, Ada Vox – a San Antonio drag queen – advanced to the next round of ABC’s “American Idol” – making it into the top 24. Vox performed a show-stopping rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep.”

The San Antonio Express-News points out that Vox also made “Idol” history Monday night, as the first semifinalist in drag. Adam Sanders, the man behind Vox, met with the judges – Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan – out of drag after the performance. Bryan told Sanders he had “one of the biggest voices on planet earth.”