by Daveda Gruber:
Mark Zuckerberg, the 33-year-old billionaire, has testified before Congress for 2 days.
Facebook data from up to 87 million users may have been improperly accessed by data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica.
The CEO and co-founder said in his remarks before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Tuesday, “We didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry.”
Zuckerberg said that he “didn’t know” or would have “his team” follow up dozens of times during the two hearings.
He did not announce any new initiatives that would fundamentally alter the network’s business model, nor was he able to explain why users weren’t notified that their data was misused in December of 2015.
The British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica did work for the 2016 U.S. presidential campaigns of both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump and accessed the data thanks to Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan’s third-party app, “This Is Your Digital Life.”
So for politically minded people Facebook was their news source.
Cambridge Analytica has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
The growing data security scandal has knocked roughly $80 billion from the social giant’s market value.
This has led to a class-action lawsuit and prompted fierce questioning from some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The biggest and most powerful tech company now faces a new FTC investigation into allegations that it may have violated a 2011 consent order that requires Facebook to “establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program” and get users’ “affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences.” It also prohibited the social network from misrepresenting the privacy or security of its users’ data.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and thanks, in part, to the efforts of regulators in Europe, where the stringent General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP), which takes effect on May 25, will empower users with new control over their data in four key areas and impose stiff fines on Facebook or any company that violates the rules.
The GDPR will give users a fully inclusive “right to be forgotten” that not only includes deleting your data but also preventing it from being further disseminated or used by third parties.
It also requires users to be notified of any data breach within 72 hours of a company learning about it. It would impose a fine of up to 4 percent of annual revenue for each violation. In Facebook’s case, that would mean a fine of approximately $1.6 billion per violation in Europe.
That will change the way Facebook uses data.
A coalition of consumer groups urged Facebook’s co-founder and CEO to adopt GDPR as the “baseline standard for all Facebook services” globally.
The Facebook chief executive said that he would like to make GDPR protections available to users in North America and non-EU regions. He did not provide exact details about how that would look.
For countless people outside of Europe and North America, Facebook is the Internet. The tech giant owns Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, which have over 800 million, 1 billion and 1.5 billion monthly active users.
That’s a lot of users.
Denelle Dixon, COO of Mozilla, “Governments have a responsibility to protect people’s privacy and security by solving problems any tech company and industry can’t alone—that’s when regulation comes into play.”
Facebook has recently revamped its privacy settings pages to make them more user-friendly.
Mozilla’s Dixon believes that the pressure from users and advertisers is having an impact on Facebook.
Dixon said, “To be clear, Facebook can and will still monetize user data, as will other companies, but events like this hopefully will force companies to have a more clear, transparent value exchange with users and to curtail activity that doesn’t really put users first.”
Google collects a gigantic amount of data from you through search, Gmail, Maps and more. This week, the company was accused by a coalition of privacy.
All Internet companies collect data so that advertisers can target the people they want to sell to. That is the way it works.
In 2018, the number of Facebook users in the United States is expected to reach 207.36 million, up from 197.7 million in 2016. As of the second quarter of 2017, the social network was accessed by 2 billion users on a monthly basis.
The total Facebook audience in the United States amounted to 214 million users. With more than 1.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social network worldwide.
If you want a large audience to see what you post, Facebook is the way.
If you are just sharing information with family and close friends, then any other small network will do.