Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Senate committee

April 12 07:23 2018

Facebook acknowledged that up to 87 million people, mostly in the United States, had their personal information harvested from the site by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy.

Others sued in the action, in U.S. District Court in DE, included Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group Ltd. and Global Science Research Ltd., which “obtained the Facebook user data to develop and foster political propaganda campaigns”, according to the lawsuit.

While he testified in the Senate on April 10 (Tuesday), another hearing will be held in the House on the day after.

Facebook Inc shares posted their biggest daily gain in almost two years on Tuesday as Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg fended off questions from US senators on day one of his testimony on how the world’s largest social network might be regulated more closely.

On the subject of fake news, Zuckerberg said one of his “greatest regrets” in running the company was its slowness at uncovering and acting against disinformation campaigns by Russian trolls during the USA election. He also said that the firm will be increasing resources to investigate apps and take appropriate actions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wondered if Facebook operates as a monopoly, asking Zuckerberg, “Who’s your biggest competitor?” To me, one of the most interesting developments was that Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook could charge users in the future instead of seeing advertisements.

He also said the company was in an “arms race” with Russian Federation, warning there were people in the country tasked with finding ways to breach Facebook’s systems.

The Tuesday hearing, which is set to take place at 11:15 a.m. PT, is streaming live below.

Also, Facebook revealed on Wednesday that outsiders took advantage of search tools on its platform, making it possible for them to collect personal information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide without the users’ explicit permission. “We need to invest in getting better at this too”.

A full transcript of the hearing is available on the Washington Post website.

Users could have had their data compromised either because they logged into the app on their own account, or one of their friends did so. The social media giant makes money on selling advertisements – which use user data.

For five hours, Zuckerberg remained stoic while answering questions about specific solutions to the current data breach. Kennedy asked Zuckerberg if Facebook can give users “a greater right to erase” and share data, to which Zuckerberg replied that Facebook already gives those rights to users.

Senator Richard Blumenthal showed the terms of service that Mr Kogan provided on a large placard and said: “Facebook was on notice that he could sell that information”.

Many people logged in on their devices expecting to see a message at the top of their news feed reading “Protecting Your Information”, as was described in numerous articles.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has held talks with Facebook executives over the Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Senate committee
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