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Facebook CEO: Europe's GDPR standards to be implemented worldwide

13 Avril 2018

After weathering heated questions from two Senate panels, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to Capitol Hill Wednesday to face more questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the social media platform's transparency and user privacy.

The data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica by an academic who gathered data on users and their friends through a questionnaire app on Facebook. The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also - thanks to Facebook's loose restrictions - data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn't meant to share publicly.

"This is an ongoing arms race", he said.

"It's practically impossible these days to remain untracked in America, for all the good Facebook and the internet has brought", Castor concluded. Yesterday, he answered questions for five hours in front of senators.

Facing his second day of questioning from members of Congress on Wednesday, Zuckerberg was answering a question from Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California. The company was forced to issue what it called a bug fix in 2013 after researchers discovered that Facebook's profiles on users included contact data that they had never uploaded.

Mark Zuckerberg testifies at the hearing.

As Cambridge Analytica specified, Tayler will not leave the company - he will resume his position as chief data officer.

So, CA may have obtained Zuckerberg's data through the privacy loophole that his own company left open.

Representative Kathy Castor said "a devil's bargain has been struck" where Facebook has "evolved to a place where it is gathering data on everyone". And that goes for fake news, for foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. Republicans repeatedly raised their suspicions that the social network is biased against conservative views. A handful of congresspeople asked Zuckerberg about the alleged censorship of pro-Trump bloggers Diamond and Silk.

Patience with the social network had already worn thin among users, advertisers and investors after the company said in 2017 that Russian Federation used Facebook for years to try to sway US politics, an allegation Moscow denies.

While it is not clear what that regulation would look like, lawmakers have said they want better protections after data breaches affected tens of millions of users.

"Why should we trust you to follow through on these promises?" he said.

"Not on your website", Butterfield retorted.

Mr Zuckerberg was also questioned over the regulation of the social media industry, saying regulation will be "inevitable".

"I've just seen it over and over again - that we have the hearings, and nothing happens", Pallone said.

"I started Facebook, I run it".

Sen Durbin said: "I think that maybe is what this is about".

"While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it has not matured".

Facebook CEO: Europe's GDPR standards to be implemented worldwide