Mark Zuckerberg, a CEO at Facebook was in front of the Congress in order to testify for the possible breach of information that Facebook may have conducted. The Congresspeople questioned him about the ways privacy on Facebook works. Here are some of the most interesting examples from the Zuckerberg’s hearing.
What was the main trigger for inviting Zuckerberg to court?
There are several events which were marked as controversial that happened in the past years that Facebook was accused of.
First of all, the data privacy regulations on Facebook were unclear.
Secondly, there were some reports that Facebook allowed Russian propaganda.
Thirdly, there are claims that the info about ethnic cleansing in Myanmar was false.
Third parties indeed harvested Mark’s data from Facebook
One of the shocker statements by Mark Zuckerberg was that he was also a target of Facebook privacy violations. His personal info was hacked and stolen, and his account directly impacted by that.
Zuckerberg denied that Facebook spies on its users through the phone
Another main point of discussion was whether Facebook uses some methods to eavesdrop on its users. For example, there are conspiracy theories that state that Facebook uses microphones and cameras on mobile devices and collects data this way.
However, this was strongly denied by Mr. Zuckerberg and stated that this was just the result of people generally losing trust in Facebook.
The Cambridge Analytica issue
One of the main privacy breaches happened when Cambridge Analytica accessed the inboxes of 87 million Facebook users. According to Zuckerberg, this was not solely Facebook’s fault as it was the users who granted permission for data collection without realizing it. This was also one of the discussion points in the Congress hearing.
Does Facebook sell data to the advertisers?
The discussion also revolved around Facebook’s business model. Many people believe that it actually sells data to advertisers. However, according to Zuckerberg’s explanation in front of the Congress, they actually just allow advertisers to reach their target audience without actually revealing personal data.
He had to explain on several occasions during the hearing how their business model works and give examples that they do not actually sell data.
Does Facebook have competition?
Although it seems sometimes that certain social media are getting close to Facebook, it is undeniable that Facebook has some real competition. This was the main idea behind senator Lindsey Graham’s questions regarding the competition. Zuckerberg failed to admit that his social network is currently the most popular and that no other similar project can come close to it.
What did the shareholders think about the hearing?
A really interesting thing happened a bit before and during the process of hearing – Facebook’s shares suddenly went up. This was mainly due to the fact that many investors simply did not believe that Mark Zuckerberg will handle the hearing well so they started selling their shares as soon as possible.
As it turns out, Mr. Zuckerberg actually handled it pretty well. In fact, so many memes and posts about this event were shared that indeed served as a great promotion for Facebook. The sole fact that the senators were mostly aged people, it was interesting and funny how they failed to understand some of the basic principles of Facebook which the newer generations seem to have picked up along the way.