NEWS11 April 2018

Facebook CEO appears before Congress

Data analytics News North America Privacy Public Sector Technology

US – Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has appeared in front of US senators in the first of two congressional hearings, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal over user data.

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During an hours-long questioning by senators on Tuesday ( 10 April), he repeated apologies for the company’s shortcomings – including the lack of protection of user data and Russian agents using the social network to influence the outcome of the US election – but he did not support congressional regulation of Facebook, Reuters reports.  

When asked by a joint hearing by the US Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committees what regulations were necessary, he said: “I’ll have my team follow up with you so that way we can have this discussion across the different categories where I think this discussion needs to happen.”

He said that it is “entirely possible” that there is a “connection” between the user data allegedly harvested by Cambridge Analytica and political propaganda pushed by the Internet Research Agency, which is linked to the Kremlin, during the 2016 presidential election.

Zuckerberg told the hearing that he did not see the Cambridge Analytica scandal as a violation of an agreement Facebook signed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011, but acknowledged that the social network did not notify the FTC in 2015, when it claims it first learned of the data harvesting.

Cambridge Analytica has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.


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