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Zuckerberg testimony tells us nothing new about privacy

Zuckerberg testimony tells us nothing new about privacy

MANILA, Philippines - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted during a House committee hearing on Wednesday, April 11, to a personal connection to the privacy scandal with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

"Yes, that's correct", he said when DeGette said since the revelations surrounding Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has also not noticed a decrease in user interaction on Facebook. And the tech illiteracy of numerous senators hampered the efficacy of much of the questioning, with Zuckerberg at times having to explain basic features of the social network.

But he maintained that advertising enables Facebook to offer a free service and that targeted ads based on user categories were more acceptable to users, even if they could opt out.

His admission that even the company's tech-savvy founder was unable to protect his own data underscored the problem Facebook has in persuading skeptical lawmakers that users can easily safeguard their own information and that further legislation governing Facebook is unnecessary.

Zuckerberg maintained that Facebook users deserve protection of private data but appeared to argue that its controls make it possible to determine how information is shared.

Zuckerberg has taken questions on a range of issues, from fake news and terrorist content to Russian propaganda and data privacy, as us lawmakers consider possible regulatory remedies. On Tuesday he emerged largely unscathed from a five-hour senate barrage.

Zuckerberg repeatedly defended the company's practices, saying that users have control over their own data and decide what to share. He cleverly deflected the question by giving an irrelevant statement - "Most of the time when people talk about our scale, they are referencing we have 2 billion people", and "The vast majority are outside the US".

"I think that may be what this is all about", said Durbin.

"It's practically impossible these days to remain untracked in America, for all the good Facebook and the internet has brought", Castor concluded.

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Zuckerberg says the company has already cut off the ability of apps on Facebook to collect such data.

The hearings were a major test for Zuckerberg. "I don't want to vote to have to regulate Facebook, but by God I will".

"So my position is not that there should be no regulation but I also think that you have to be careful about regulation you put in place".

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered questions for over five hours yesterday at the US Senate. John Thune of South Dakota said Zuckerberg's company had a 14-year history of apologizing for "ill-advised decisions" related to user privacy.

When Wicker pushed him again, Zuckerberg's answer was more revealing: "I know that people use cookies on the Internet and that you can probably correlate activity between sessions". Facebook shares jumped as Zuckerberg spoke to the senators, closing up 4.5 percent in NY trading.

"It is clear from congressional testimony that self-regulation alone is not working and that regulatory oversight is needed in the United States in order to ensure safe social media.".

Responding to questions from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Zuckerberg said his personal data was also part of the data collected and leaked to Cambridge Analytica through the This Is Your Digital Life applicaiton.

"And people have the ability to see everything that they have in Facebook, to take that out, delete their account and move their data anywhere that they want", he said.

"After we were slow to identify the Russian information operations in 2016, this has become a top priority for our company to prevent that from ever happening again, especially this year, in 2018, which is such an important election year with the U.S. mid-terms, but also major elections in India, Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, Pakistan and a number of other places", he said.

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