Why Zuckerberg Won the Facebook Hearings

Darnell Taylor
April 17, 2018

Besides politicians, privacy advocates are also concerned over Zuckerberg's comments. The updates will be rolled out globally over the next two weeks.

"Any other social media platform will never compare to what Facebook is and the possibilities that Facebook has", said Kaleo Chang, a sophomore political science and strategic and corporate communications major. We teamed up with the Senate Judiciary Committee to host a joint hearing that featured almost half of the U.S. Senate and examined a significant breach of trust between Facebook and its users, one that led to the information of 87 million users being obtained by Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been in the media spotlight this week after Congress grilled him for hours over the data breach scandal. Other information comes from "cookies", small files stored via a browser and used by Facebook and others to track people on the internet, sometimes to target them with ads.

Cambridge Analytica contractor Aleksandr Kogan collected direct messages from users who installed the app. Kogan told The Guardian that "private messages were only ever used for university work within his lab, for which Cambridge University ethics approval had been obtained".

So to add insult to injury, not only has the non-Facebook user had their data gathered without their consent, but they have to sign up to a service they don't want and "consent" to give up more information to the company in the process of requesting this data.

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"Because right now, we are only a couple of years past when Cambridge Analytica created those models, the profiles and models they have are likely useful for the next, in my rough estimation and experience, three to five years", he said. And Facebook's plan - notifying users whose data were shared and teaching others how to "secure their account and data" - is like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.

During his testimony, Zuckerberg responded to a question asked by USA representative that his company tracks the data of non-Facebook users for security purposes. Here's some of back and forth between Zuckerberg and Florida's U.S. Senators and Representatives.

"Facebook now has evolved to a place where you are tracking everyone", she stated, during the hearing. Or you can just view and edit the information you want to share.

The company said it would review all legitimate reports and respond as quickly as possible when a credible threat to user data is identified. "As always, empowering our users to make connections is our number one priority and we wanted to continue to ensure our users felt safe while doing this". This is the tool Kogan was using for his personality quiz app.

The 2011 agreement bound Facebook to a 20-year privacy commitment, and any violations of that pact could cost Facebook billions; yes, that's billions with a "b". They then measured the impact on the positiveness or negativeness of those users' own posts.

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