Facebook Messenger issues a privacy review reminder to users

Alonzo Simpson
April 15, 2018

Under questioning from Representative Ben Luján (D-NM), the CEO was unable to say how many categories of data Facebook collects - both on users of its service, and on those users who have never signed up for an account, but it profiles anyway.

The stakes are high for Facebook in Europe, where the region's consumer protection watchdogs have proved willing to challenge USA tech giants on many fronts - penalizing Google $2.7 billion for threatening competition, for example, and charging Apple more than $15 billion on grounds that it failed to pay taxes. "We're getting ready to overreact".

OTW: Cambridge Analytica have basically stolen that data and used it in the election to help Donald Trump get elected in the United States. Lawmakers in both houses, and on both sides of the aisle, raised concerns about whether Facebook had proven to be incapable of regulating itself.

"I hear about all these people deleting their Facebook profiles and protesting", Trivisonno said. "I was informed that Facebook is planning an extensive audit on all those apps, but that it will take a long time", Jourova said. "But I think the details on this really matter".

Other lawmakers were less clear about the need for new regulations.

But even in this hesitant camp, lawmakers showed a willingness to do just that.

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And under "Defend Facebook", the notes advised the CEO that "If attacked", he should respond: "Respectfully, I reject that". John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, said in the hearing Tuesday.

While Zuckerberg last week said that the company hasn't seen a meaningful drop off in cumulative users, a new survey from Creative Strategies claims that 9% of Americans may have deleted their accounts. "There is no doubt that consumer protection is a winning issue for both parties this year". Throughout the hearings, members of Congress struggled to understand how Facebook works, let alone to diagnose and agree on the precise problems that should be fixed by regulation.

The expected invitation comes a day after Zuckerberg testified for roughly 10 hours in front of two panels of USA lawmakers about Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that had improperly accessed names, "likes" and other personal information about roughly 87 million users. The sessions also featured presentations from Facebook's researchers on privacy challenges, as well as ways the company might protect user data. After all, Facebook has no real incentive to look after the data of its users, since those data are so valuable to companies around the globe. But the more people join, the more useful it becomes.

Facebook tracks "certain information for ads and security".

One of the most talked about things after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's grilling by almost 100 USA lawmakers over two days had little to do with the congressional hearing and everything to do with how he was sitting. It also would allow customers to opt out of having their data sold. "Congress has tried before and hasn't moved forward".

Sen. Lindsey Graham started his line of questioning asking Zuckerberg to list Facebook's top rivals; Zuck tried to break out the company's competitors into categories (category No. 1: other tech platforms, aka Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft), but Graham dismissed that attempt with a vehicle analogy.

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