Research

Don't let the Facebook hearings fool you - Republicans love deregulating Big Tech

Share
WATCH Private messages from Zuckerberg mysteriously disappear

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he didn't set his privacy settings to stop his data being shared.

During the five-hour testimony on Wednesday, Zuckerberg admitted that his profile data was among those exposed in the Cambridge Analytica leak.

As you travel through the web, you're likely to encounter Facebook Like or Share buttons, which the company calls Social Plugins, on all sorts of pages, from news outlets to shopping sites.

Facebook also includes a note about its data collection in its user agreement, noting that it collects data on "the websites and apps you visit, your use of our services on those websites and apps, as well as information the developer or publisher of the app or website provides to you or us". He also said Facebook does not collect information from users' verbal conversations through mobile devices' microphones.

Facebook was getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected.

"This seems to be a relatively new approach for the company and I believe at least in part responding to critique of Facebook's slow and somewhat tone-deaf response to prior breaches that have led to user outrage". As he said in closing, "I think that may be what this is all about". And while there are grey areas and nuances here, Facebook is right by and large. It's as if the owner of the phone company could also listen to your conversations.

The main customers of Facebook and its many other products are advertisers, and the main products of Facebook are its users. And it does so without their permission.

For Zuckerberg, who often found himself explaining what his company does in rudimentary terms to lawmakers twice his age, the hearings could be considered a win: Facebook shares rose more than 1 percent after climbing 4.5 percent on Monday.

However, he acknowledged regulation of social media companies is "inevitable" to help protect users. His exact words, were: "There always will be a version of Facebook that is free". But the USA lawmakers were still angry.

"The only thing that they told us was that it was unsafe for the community".

Lujan rightly went on to point out that, "You've said everyone controls their data, but you're collecting data on people that are not even Facebook users who have never signed a consent, a privacy agreement". He is working on artificial intelligence technology to weed out hate speech and at the same time ensure that they don't block people for the wrong reasons.

The Facebook CEO's at-times awkwardness saw him being compared to Star Trek's Data - an android who struggles with human behaviour and emotions. Businesses upload their in-store sales data in spreadsheet format and then Facebook matches that data with the people that saw its ads. 59,777 were friends of those who would have installed the app elsewhere in the world. "Those posts he brought up on the screen were brought to Facebook's attention back in November, but they hadn't taken any action. Not just in the U.S. mid-terms but around the world, there are important elections - in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan and Hungary - and we want to make sure we do everything we can to protect the integrity of these elections".

"He said he's in favour of some kind of regulation, but he's not behind some kind of sweeping regulation of Facebook that some critics of the company would like to see", McCabe said.

- Do not click on the like button anytime you see it on a random page.

Share