Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg witnessed endless camera shutters yesterday as he faced US Congress over the data mishandling scandal. Walled by his top legal and policy executives, this is Mark’s first appearance before Congress to clarify the privacy nightmare caused by Facebook.
The social-networking website has been accused for sharing data of 87 million Facebook users with Cambridge Analytica, a political research firm. Reports suggest that Cambridge Analytica used this information to psychologically profile Trump voters during the 2016 US election. Dressed in a crisp white shirt and blue suit, Zuckerberg answered a series of questions thrown at him regarding the breach of privacy and for providing user data to third-party partners without users’ knowledge.
Grilled by lawmakers for 5 hours, Zuckerberg answered questions pertaining to security, data mining, regulations, privacy and also on the current Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg answered questions from the Senate Commerce and judiciary committees on privacy, data mining, regulations and Cambridge Analytica during the course of the marathon five-hour hearing.
Here are the key moments from Zuckerberg’s Congress Scrutiny:
- Taking full accountability of the scandal, he apologized, “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”
- The 32-year-old billionaire said that they did check with Cambridge Analytica about these allegations in the last. However, the Russian company denied using any data and thus Facebook took the case as closed. Without cross-checking, the company took their statement to be true. This was the blunder they made.
- He also stated that the company stores data with user’s permission. However, the data is not sold to advertisers but is placed in accordance with advertisers’ reach. He also apologized for not implementing enough tools to scan foreign interference in elections, fake news, and hate speech, etc.
- Senators threw some serious questions about privacy at Zuckerberg, to suggest that no one would like to share their personal data publicly.
- Questions were also raised about Facebook working as a ‘monopoly’ since it did not have too many competitors while bringing to light that they acquired Instagram in 2012, which was turning to be a close competitor.
Zuckerberg will undergo another grilling session at Capitol Hill, where he’ll testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. See this page for further updates