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A tenser Zuckerberg endures 2nd day in Congress

13 Avril 2018

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-NJ, asked whether Facebook would change its default settings, to cut down on the collection of users' data.

Senators pressed Mr. Zuckerberg on why Facebook didn't inform users about the harvesting of user data by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm with ties to the Trump campaign, in 2015, when it was informed of the data abuse.

"It was amusing to me to see this big deal being made out of what Cambridge Analytica did, when that was old news", he told BuzzFeed News.

Zuck didn't really have an answer because, well, Facebook doesn't really have a direct competitor.

"Every time that someone chooses to share something on Facebook ... there is a control", he said.

Zuckerberg later said such regulation is inevitable.

Zuckerberg was asked why Facebook should be trusted to self-regulate, what kind of regulation he would like to see, whether he would be willing to endorse the CONSENT Act (which would allow the FTC to regulate data privacy protections for personal data), whether he still endorses the Honest Ads Act, and so on.

House energy & commerce Chairman Greg Walden, in his opening statement, said he's concerned that Facebook has gotten ahead of itself.

"We've heard today a number examples where we may have made content review mistakes on conservative content, but I can assure you there are a lot of folks who think we've made. mistakes on liberal content as well", he said.

Zuckerberg faced tougher questions from House lawmakers over Facebook's stance than during Tuesday's five-hour session in the Senate, where his defence of data sharing was weakly challenged. This takes you to a new page where you can click Start My Archive to see what you have shared on the site and the personal data that has been collected.

Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith referring to Facebook as "The Facebook" was the flawless example of congressmen being out of touch with technology. Latta asked. Zuckerberg responded, to Latta and others, that Facebook believes it has complied with the decree. "Diamond and Silk" is not terrorism", she declared flatly.

But after two days of congressional testimony, what seemed clear was how little Congress seems to know about Facebook, much less what to do about it.

"I disagree with that characterization", Zuckerberg replied.

"We continue to have these abuses and these data breaches", DeGette said.

During testimony in front of two Senate panels he said the company will have 20,000 employees by year end to monitor content and weed out "malicious actors" - an addition of 5,000 to the payroll. Facebook knows a ton about these users, so it can find people with similar lifestyles and interests at a push of a button.

"The GDPR requires us to do a few more things and we are going to extend that to the world", he said.

The leading legislative vehicle, the Honest Ads Act, introduced previous year, would put online companies under disclosure rules like those in place for political ads on TV, where information is disclosed about who paid for the ad.

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

"They're going to keep getting better at this, and we need to invest in making sure we keep getting better at this too".

The company has always denied these allegations.

Lawmakers in both parties have floated possible regulation of Facebook and other tech companies amid privacy scandals and Russian intervention on the platform.

While some lawmakers said they appreciated Zuckerberg's patient cooperation, others said the CEO-who didn't stop at any point to ask for help from underlings lined up behind him-fell short.

If Congress enacts regulation that hampers facial recognition in the United States, companies like Face++ and SenseTime could use their early advantage to dominate this sector of computer vision.

Sen John Kennedy told Mr Zuckerberg "your user agreement sucks" and Sen Dick Durbin asked if the Facebook CEO would share details of the hotel room in he was staying in.

"In general we collect data on people who are not signed up for Facebook for security purposes", Zuckerberg said.

Near the end of the session, Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from MI criticised Zuckerberg's lack of knowledge of his own company.

"As CEO, you didn't know some key facts", Dingell said.

A tenser Zuckerberg endures 2nd day in Congress