Hearings Show Congress Doesn't Understand Facebook Well Enough To Regulate It

Hearings Show Congress Doesn't Understand Facebook Well Enough To Regulate It

And with the power many of these social media companies hold, they aren't likely to provide you answers.

So Zuckerberg, who owns more than 401.4 million shares in Facebook, got almost $3 billion richer in the past few days.

"I've just seen it over and over again - that we have the hearings, and nothing happens", he said.

Lujan criticised Zuckerberg and his platform for taking information from people who haven't even signed a privacy agreement.

- "What was Facemash and is it still up and running?". He testified that he didn't know the term, but acknowledged the firm did monitor non-users for "security" purposes.

Yet in his testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he was also steadfast in arguing that Facebook's users themselves are choosing to make their data available, and that the company's "opt-in" provisions offered them sufficient control.

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So to avoid getting left out of the next privacy breach, I'm adding a little more Red State to my Facebook data. For those of us who have been paying attention to Facebook and its litany of scandals over the past few months, Zuck's testimony in front of committees from the Senate and a (distinctly more lucid) one from the House told us nothing new.

One surprising admission made by Mr Zuckerberg before these hearings was that despite acknowledging the company made big mistakes, nobody has been fired over the Cambridge Analytica affair.

Admitting "this is an ongoing arms race", Zuckerberg promised that the coming elections in India and Pakistan would be fair, and not subject to Russian-type intervention as in US President Donald Trump's election.

"Yesterday when we talked, I gave the relatively harmless example that I'm communicating with my friends on Facebook and indicate that I love a certain kind of chocolate".

Much of the effort was aimed at denigrating Democrat Hillary Clinton and thereby helping Republican Trump, or simply encouraging divisiveness and undercutting faith in the US system.

"The only way we're going to close this trust gap is through legislation that creates and empowers a sufficiently resourced expert oversight agency, with rulemaking authority to protect the digital privacy and ensure that companies protect our users' data".

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Senators tried to put him under pressure. He said Facebook had considered the data collection "a closed case" and had not alerted the Federal Trade Commission. He promised to get his team to "flesh out the details".

His remarks came as he opened the second day of a congressional inquisition in the wake of the worst privacy debacle in his company's history.

We can be outraged all we want, but the simple fact is that we've brought this on ourselves, and now the marketplace is exploiting the American tendency to not want to read or be slowed down by the time reading will take.

It seems like everywhere you look there is a button prompting you to "like" or share things on Facebook - indeed, there's one on the page you're reading right now.

Exactly how many fake accounts Facebook has shut down. In contrast to the information that users (more or less) willingly share, the vast majority of users have no idea that such data even exists.

If it's even possible to tot up how many buttons are out there on the web, expect a number in the hundreds of millions - that's hundreds of millions of pages with which Facebook is tracking your activity beyond its own borders.

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