This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood before Congress in two separate hearings. His final hearing took place on Wednesday, where Zuckerberg had to answer for Facebook’s data collection methods, as well as the need for Facebook to have better regulations. Here’s what you need to know about Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill.
These hearings come in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that broke about a month ago, showing that a London-based analytics company was obtaining user data from 87 million users. What’s worse, Cambridge Analytica was also connected with President Trump’s presidential campaign.
Yesterday’s hearings put some direct questions to Zuckerberg. However, his answers left both Congress and many others underwhelmed, to say the least, and downright disappointed.
During the 10 hours of testifying, Zuckerberg also admitted that Facebook gathers information from people who aren’t even using the social media platform.
Then, when democrat representative from New Jersey, Frank Pallone, asked the yes-or-no question: “Will you make the commitment to change all the user default settings to minimize to the greatest extent possible the collection and use of user data?”
Zucherberg responded saying it was a “complex issue that deserved more than a one word answer.” Pallone said Zuckerberg’s response was disappointing.
It also came to light that Zuckerberg seems relatively uncommitted to making any changes to protect user data and privacy.
When Democratic Representative Ms. Eshoo, from California asked the CEO, “Are you willing to change your business model in the interest of protecting individual privacy?” Zuckerberg responded, “Congresswoman, I’m not sure what that means.” And went on to explain that he first learned about the data collection in 2015 – nearly two years ahead of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.