Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Facebook is $24 billion richer after Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress

Facebook is $24 billion richer after Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress Facebook is $24 billion richer after Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress
Doris Mccormick | 15 April, 2018, 02:31

It was like all of Russian Federation shunning me on social media.

The interviewer asked if Facebook would ever sell people's personal information, and Zuckerberg responded firmly in the negative. But there was no clear thread among them as to how, or if, the government should step in. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy, he said. He met with the company's US-based vice-president of global policy management, Monika Bickert, and global deputy chief privacy officer, Stephen Deadman at a meeting in London.

Yes, numerous illustrious senators and representatives assembled devoted their limited minutes with the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the United States to addressing some very simple elements of how Facebook works (which is lucky for Zuckerberg because he had to concentrate most of his energy on modulating his face in the very natural way that humans do).

Facebook has been consumed by turmoil for almost a month, since it came to light that millions of users' personal information was wrongly harvested from the website by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump's election campaign among its clients.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a second day of congressional hearings, as the company grapples with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. Earlier this year, special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies in a plot to interfere in the 2016 presidential election through a social media propaganda effort that included online ad purchases using USA aliases and politicking on US soil. Stressing that there is an online propaganda "arms race" with Russian Federation and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections including in India, Zuckerberg told Congress that his own personal data was "improperly shared". Many lawmakers still don't fully grasp the technology. "And I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here". It's a multi-sided platform, the main objective of which is to get people to remain on it, creating content - data - that can be packaged as a profile for advertisers. And he's come a long way since he created the platform in his dorm room nearly 15 years ago.

In the hearings, Zuckerberg is trying to both restore public trust in his company and stave off federal regulations that some lawmakers have floated.

Wrapping up his four-minutes of questioning, Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida commended the platform, saying "it's wonderful for us seniors to connect with our relatives". He initially attempted to dismiss her concerns about the use of user data with advertisers with a refrain heard over and over during the two days of testimony: "We don't sell data to advertisers".

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"I don't want to vote to have to regulate Facebook, but by God, I will", Republican Senator John Kennedy told Zuckerberg on Tuesday.

How many people were really affected by Facebook's data breach?

Still, he said, lawmakers need to be careful, noting that new rules or laws could hurt smaller businesses more than a behemoth like Facebook. "It certainly doesn't feel like that to me", Zuckerberg said. I think it's time to ask whether Facebook may have moved too fast and broken too many things. About 270,000 Facebook users shared the data with "thisisyourdigitallife" and this also gave the app information about the friend network of those people, meaning the data of about 50 million users was compromised. After the scandal broke, Facebook has said that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica are "bad actors" as they used this data for commercial purposes.

Zuckerberg said at the House hearing that his own Facebook data was part of that sweep. He assured senators the company would handle the situation differently today.

That may be enough to satisfy lawmakers for now.

"2018 is an incredibly important year for elections".

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