Mark Zuckerberg, during his second hearing on Capitol Hill, had to face tougher questions from US Congress relating to the Social media giant’s policies. He was asked to provide answers to the revelations of a massive data privacy breach.
The Facebook CEO was also interrogated about user privacy, data collection, political bias and other issues like the social network’s business model.
Facebook has been under scanner from the time news broke last month that the personal information of 87 million users had been illegally harvested by political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica in an attempt to influence political outcomes.
During his five-hour testimony on Wednesday before the US Congress, the Facebook CEO admitted that his profile data was also among those exposed in the Cambridge Analytica leak.
He said that the company is contemplating legal action by saying that there might be a slew of apps that collected data on Facebook users in a similar fashion to Cambridge Analytica.
However, he rejected all suggestions from the US Congress members that Facebook users did not have credible control over their data.
“Every time that someone chooses to share something on Facebook … there is a control. Right there. Not buried in the settings somewhere but right there,” Zuckerberg said.
“What we saw at these hearings is that he is resisting changing the business model of Facebook, which is based entirely on harvesting user data and taking that data and use that data to help target ads,” David McCabe, a tech reporter with Axios, a told news agency.
“He said he’s in favour of some regulation, but he’s not behind some sweeping regulation of Facebook that some critics of the company would like to see,” McCabe said.
“I think we’re not any closer to regulation of Facebook, but I do think Congress put Facebook on notice, basically saying Facebook has to clean up its act or we will come in and do it for you.”
The 33-year-old billionaire owning Facebook, has apologised for multiple of times and promised to make meaningful reforms to protect data privacy.
Zuckerberg explained to the US Congress that Facebook’s audits of data harvesting by outside apps would take “many months” to complete.
One of the many issues raised was about the alleged political bias of the platform, with conservative legislators demanding about the removal of several popular conservative Facebook pages.
“Diamond and Silk were deemed ‘unsafe’. What is unsafe about two black women supporting Donald J Trump?” one of the legislators asked.
“Nothing is unsafe about that,” Zuckerberg replied, explaining that these were mistakes.
Facebook does limit some content that could be concerning to “terrorism” but, “We don’t think of it as censorship”.
According to the facts put by Zuckerberg, the company has got 200 people working on efforts to combat the promotion of “extremist” content.
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