Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg admits responsibility for data misuse

Nettie James
April 10, 2018

For anyone wondering about Zuckerberg's possible political ambitions, Tuesday's hearing will be an opportunity to see how he handles the spotlight.

The data obtained was originally collected by University of Cambridge professor Aleksandr Kogan who used an app called "thisisyourdigitallife", which offered a personality test. Facebook users who downloaded the app granted it permission to collect data on their location, friends and things they Liked.

Facebook didn't do enough to prevent its platform from being used to do harm, and that goes for "fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy", Zuckerberg says.

"They went beyond what they had legally indicated to people they would be doing with that data, and they sold it to outside organizations, who then resold it, and it was used to try to convince or try to manipulate the way people thought about the election process", Senator Rounds said. CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that he made a "huge mistake" in failing to take a broad enough view of what Facebook's responsibility is in the world. "Savannah, I'm not going to sit here and say that we're not going to find more because we are". "I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here", Zuckerberg writes in prepared remarks expected to be issued today before the Senate Judiciary and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committees.

Last week, the company announced new privacy tools to be in place in user news feeds on Monday, and said it would notify the 87 million users affected by the data hijacking scandal, amid probes underway on both sides of the Atlantic.

"There is more work to do, but we are committed to confronting abuse and to putting you in control of your privacy", it says.

A spokesperson for Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the biggest scandal has been over Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign.

The next two days will be important to the growing concern of privacy on an uncontrolled social media. Over the weekend, Facebook kicked two more companies, CubeYou and AggregateIQ, off the platform for misusing data.

Then came questions about Russian meddling, and reports that Russians targeted Facebook users with political ads.

Facebook insists that the research effort will use annonymized, privacy-protected data for the sole objective of understanding and improving social media's impact on society.

On Capitol Hill, U.S. lawmakers signaled they want action, not just contrition, from social media executives.

In addition, all 2.2 billion Facebook users will receive a notice section titled "Protecting Your Information" with a link to see what apps they're using and what information the users have shared with those apps. This saw Zuckerberg switching out his iconic T-shirt and jeans outfit for a dark suit and tie in his meeting with United States congress and lawmakers, a Reuters report read. The cascade of policy changes at the company - coming out ahead of hearings - gives Zuckerberg something concrete to tout, as he seeks to show lawmakers that he is the man who can right the ship.

It's the first time Zuckerberg will personally sit for questions from Congress, instead of sending a deputy.

Facebook has about 15,000 people working on security and content review, rising to more than 20,000 by the end of 2018, Zuckerberg's testimony said.

"He clearly has to deeply, personally apologise and hope he will satisfy and blunt any attempt at USA regulation", said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

Zuckerberg said his top priority has always been his social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together.

Other reports by Insurance News

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