Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before Congress Over Facebook Data Scandal


Photo Courtesy by the Time Magazine

Chief Executive Officer of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg appeared on capitol hill before congress to delve into allegations over data consumer misusage. Zuckerberg appeared before the Senate April 10, 2018, and faced the House of Representatives on April 11, 2018, according to The Guardian

Facebook confirmed that personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users may have been improperly shared with IT service management company Cambridge Analytica on April 11, 2018. Cambridge Analytica is a British consulting firm that combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process, according to nytimes

The two day congressional testimony started off appearing before the United States Senate, answering questions of their concern. Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada questioned Zuckerberg during his testimony,

Heller: “Have you ever drawn the line on what kind of data you will sell to advertisers?” Zuckerberg went on to answer Heller explaining that Facebook doesn’t “sell” data, and dodged the question of whether Facebook draws lines and refuses what kind of data it collects to target advertisers.

Heller: “Do you record the contents of our calls?”

Zuckerberg: “I don’t believe we’ve ever collected the content of phone calls.”

Heller: “Do you believe you’re more responsible with our data than the US government?”

Zuckerberg: “Yes.”

Heller: “Do you think you’re a victim? Do you think you’re company is a victim.”

Zuckerberg: “No. We have a responsibility to protect anyone in our community.”

Heller: “Do you consider the 87 million to be victims?”

Zuckerberg: “Yes… That happened and it happened on our watch.” according to The Guardian

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut left appeased of Zuckerberg’s testimony stating, “I was unsatisfied, more of the apology tour, which we’ve had before.” Blumenthal said it was clear to him that Facebook would not and could not regulate itself, and went on to say that Congress needed to provide a solution for it, according to nytimes

On the second day of testimony, Zuckerberg appeared before the United States House of Representatives, answering questions just as he did with the Senate. Democratic Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey was one to point out the concerns of Facebook’s data misuse and schemes of regulating technology. Pallone said during the testimony, “For all the good it brings, Facebook can be a weapon for those like Russia and Cambridge Analytica that seek to harm us and hack our democracy. Facebook made it too easy for a single person to get extensive personal information about 87 million people.” Pallone added “This incident demonstrates yet again that our laws are not working,” according to wsj