3 things to watch for when Mark Zuckerberg testifies to Congress

Steve Phelps
April 10, 2018

In the statement, Zuckerberg addresses Russian election interference and acknowledges, as he has in the past, that the company was too slow to respond and that it's "working hard to get better".

On Monday, Zuckerberg ditched his trademark T-shirt for a suit and tie as he made the rounds on Capitol Hill with his assistant Andrea Besmehn for private meetings with lawmakers ahead of the hearings - a key test for the Facebook founder.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's trial by fire has already begun in Washington, D.C., this week as he prepares to testify before two committees of Congress about the company's failure to prevent the profiles of at least 87 million users from falling into the hands of political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

For hearings previous year about Russia's alleged use of social media to influence American politics, Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google sent lawyers, angering lawmakers. He faces further grilling from the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. "The company really is at a moment of reckoning", he told NPR.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said users "deserve to know how their information is shared and secure", and that he wants to explore with Zuckerberg ways to balance safety with innovation.

Facebook also started notifying a potential 87 million people, including 622,161 Canadians, if their information may have been shared with the United Kingdom -based consultancy firm that's accused of analyzing and selling social media data to political campaigns. He will probably also want to talk about Facebook's global compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a broad set of privacy protections being introduced in the European Union in May. The notification informs users which apps they use and what kind of information they shared with those apps.

"They went beyond what they had legally indicated to people they would be doing with that data, and they sold it to outside organizations, who then resold it, and it was used to try to convince or try to manipulate the way people thought about the election process", Senator Rounds said.

Meanwhile, Facebook announced it is starting to notify tens of millions of users, a lot of them in the United States, whose personal data may have been harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

German police foil knife attack on Berlin half-marathon
Police quickly evacuated the area and ambulances, firefighters and helicopters rushed to the scene to aid the injured. The foreign ministry in the Netherlands said two of the injured were Dutch, one of whom was in a critical condition.

Facebook's 2018 annual report listed security breaches and negative publicity as risks to its revenue. Facebook says that this researcher then broke its rules by handing over this data to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook appears to have never truly audited the third-party companies with access to its data, and combing back through years of activity on the platform is going to take a whole bunch of time. The company's CEO Zuckerberg will be meeting U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday and Wednesday to present his case.

This week, the Facebook CEO will testify in front of American lawmakers twice. "Congress needs to update our laws so that we can regulate these platforms and ensure this doesn't happen again".

Mr. Zuckerberg's public remarks will be closely watched by investors.

Last week, consumer groups such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook's use of facial recognition, saying it violates the company's 2011 privacy consent decree with the FTC.

Facebook also confirmed that an estimated 311,127 Australians were impacted by the data harvesting scandal.

During a rare press conference last week, Zuckerberg was grilled by journalists over Facebook's privacy lapses.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg will strike a conciliatory tone on Tuesday in testimony before Congress in an attempt to blunt possible regulatory fallout from the privacy scandal engulfing his social network.

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