Zuckerberg addresses rumours about Facebook tapping your microphone
Apr 15 2018
The company brings in $40 billion in advertising revenue annually because it offers brands data that gives them an unparalleled ability to target consumers. Arguably, many of those products, from medicine to fuel, potentially put more Americans at greater risk than Facebook does.
With the first hearing on Tuesday and the second on Wednesday, Zuckerbergconfessed a variety of ways Facebook has misused user data. Facebook allows academic researchers more access to user data than commercial companies and app developers.
As on Tuesday, the questions are expected to cover a broad range of topics - from what Facebook knew about the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the degree of responsibility Facebook has over content on its platform, including disinformation.
But he stiffly defended Facebook's use of the data and postings of the 2.2 billion users of its free platform - in order to attract the ad revenue that the $480- billion company depends on. Securing your personal data is more complicated than just running an antivirus suite and using a password manager to come up with unique logins for every site.
Zuckerberg may deflect the attention of Congress, but there's no ducking the judgment of other tech executives who also rely on data to build their businesses.
That's a fairly popular narrative these days in the wake of the big American online social media and networking company's direct role in the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
"It certainly doesn't feel like that to me", Zuckerberg responded, eliciting a few snickers from the audience. So, to put those numbers into better perspective, that means around 36.38 million people in the USA have deleted the Facebook phone app, while 19.26 million have deleted their accounts altogether.
Addressing these privacy concerns, Senator Dick Durbin asked Zuckerberg if he would be comfortable sharing the name of the hotel where he was staying.
Republican congressman Fred Upton cited an example of a Michigan Republican whose campaign page was removed from Facebook. The company wrote a blog post explaining that it doesn't do this back in 2016. Essentially, they are used to showcase risque behavior you really wouldn't want parents to know about.
What made matters really interesting in the 10 hours long question-answer session is that how the senators in question often portrayed a lack of understanding about how Facebook really works and many openly acknowledged that they need the company's help and support in writing regulations that cover its industry.
"Most importantly I'm especially dejected that not only are these failures impacting the regular users, I'm extremely sorry that I can't even tell the USA lawmakers who has and hasn't viewed their Facebook profiles", the written statement said.
In the hearings, Zuckerberg is trying to both restore public trust in his company and stave off federal regulations that some lawmakers have floated. Congress is unlikely to get it done during this session.