U.S. lawmakers frustrated with evasive Facebook CEO Zuckerberg

  • U.S. lawmakers frustrated with evasive Facebook CEO Zuckerberg

U.S. lawmakers frustrated with evasive Facebook CEO Zuckerberg

"In fact he is 5'7" and, as he appeared before Congress in Washington this week, he used a booster cushion to appear tall on television.

"I think the interesting regulatory approach is not a breakup or more privacy, but rather an unbundling of Facebook", said Chris Hoofnagle, a professor at UC Berkeley's Center for Law and Technology.

"When we learned in 2015 that Cambridge Analytica had bought data from an app developer on Facebook that people had shared it with, we did take action", said Zuckerberg.

In what many noted was poetic irony, considering the large volume of private data Facebook gathers about its users, Zuckerberg's printed notes from yesterday's hearings were captured in a photograph by AP photographer Andrew Harnik.

In March, Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform after an investigation from The Observer of London and The New York Times revealed that the firm improperly accessed user data. They were little changed in late-morning trading on Wednesday.

Facebook has been consumed by turmoil for almost a month, since it came to light that millions of users' personal information was wrongly harvested from the website by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has counted U.S. President Donald Trump's election campaign among its clients. At one point in the hearing, though, Zuckerberg acknowledged that his own information was compromised as a result of the privacy controversy now looming over his company. Each time Zuckerberg fielded a question about how Facebook is improving or plans to improve its ability to identify and cull accounts that are in violation of its policies, he leaned on AI.

Zuckerberg's testimony, which came on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica data leak that rocked Facebook earlier this year, drew the attention of many detractors and jokers, a number of whom compared Zuckerberg's appearance during the testimony to that of Commander Data, chief science officer of the Enterprise on "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

Mr Zuckerberg answered: "Senator, no, I would probably not choose to share that here".

Protesters hold signs before Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees on the protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 10, 2018. No, Facebook doesn't sell your data.

"Your success story is an American success story, embodying values such as freedom of speech and freedom of enterprise", said the committee chairman, Greg Walden, in his opening remarks. And I'm sorry. I started Facebook. In order to serve more relevant ads to users, personal data is collected and analyzed in order to serve targeted ads, unless the user opts out.

MARK ZUCKERBERG: We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake.

Commentators have suggested Facebook could collect less personal data on things such as what people read online, or could open up its advertising systems to public scrutiny, but at a cost to both its profits and commercial secrecy.

Facebook also allows outside businesses to collect your data if you give them permission. Mr Pallone replied: "That's disappointing to me".

With questions still swirling about how foreign entities use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to spread fake news and sow division, and how these networks handle user data, it's curious Congressional Republicans would spend so much time questioning Zuckerberg about two vloggers.