Starting on April 11th, 2018 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began a two-day hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee concerning his company and outside misuse of user data.
This hearing, along with many discussions concerning the company, was sparked by a debacle concerning Russian exploitation of user data in order to shift the 2016 Presidential Election.
It was also influenced by issues on the subject of compromised personal information from Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm which also attempted to shift the Presidential Election through the use of Facebook user data.
The issue concerning Facebook following this data theft is concerning whether or not Facebook was violating a decree with the FTC over the idea that it deceived users about their own privacy.
In the hearing, Zuckerberg recognized the importance of user privacy and the need to raise up more protections against outside exploitation of user data, such as Russia and Cambridge Analytica.
Zuckerberg makes note of Facebook’s priority of user privacy, noting in the hearing that Facebook has “a responsibility to not just give people tools, but to make sure that those tools are used for good.”
In his opening statement, Zuckerberg referenced a series of steps that Facebook would make in order to make the media platform a more controlled and secure environment.
Zuckerberg’s first step addressed the issue of Cambridge Analytica, and informing affected individuals that their data has been accessed. Zuckerberg states that “What we know now is that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained some information about millions of Facebook members by buying it from an app developer that people had shared it with.”
Zuckerberg also addresses the issues of outside app developers that are misusing user data in Facebook, and the steps that Facebook is making in order to regulate that. Zuckerberg stated that Facebook was now “investigating every single app that had access to a large amount of people’s information on Facebook in the past.”
He also stated that beyond the initial investigation, they will make bigger efforts for restriction. He also explained that if Facebook ever found “someone that improperly used data, we’re going to ban them from our platform and tell everyone affected.”
Along with these initial steps, Zuckerberg also talked about steps being made to further prevent the necessity of these investigations in the future, making plans to ensure that “developers can’t access as much information, going forward.”
With this step, Zuckerberg also referenced a change in the Facebook platform in 2014 that would prevent another incident similar to that of Cambridge Analytica.
However, Zuckerberg recognizes that this is not the only steps for Facebook to make, and is aware that with this, there is more steps to be taken. He explains that people “can find more of the details of the other steps we’re taking in the written statement I provided.”
Heejae Park OCSAl 10th Grade
<Heejae Park OCSAl 10th Grade