Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by his own United States senator during a marathon public hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Here are seven takeaways. He took responsibility for failing to prevent Cambridge Analytica, which was affiliated with Donald Trump's presidential campaign, from gathering personal information from 87 million users. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa asked whether there have been similar breaches involving other companies.
"One of my greatest regrets in running the company is that we were slow in identifying the Russian information operations in 2016", Zuckerberg said, adding, "We expected them to do a number of more traditional cyber-attacks, which we did identify and notify the campaigns that they were trying to hack into them. They're going to keep getting better and we need to invest in getting better at this too".
"We have banned the website 'This Is Your Digital Life, ' which one of your friends used Facebook to log into".
"I actually am not aware of a subpoena - I believe that there may be [one] - but I know we're working with them", Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg said his company has a responsibility to make sure what happened with Cambridge Analytica doesn't happen again. Mark Zuckerberg was being trolled by a Russian Troll. "Can you confirm whether or not this is true?"
Zuckerberg told senators he did not see the Cambridge Analytica episode as a violation.
In a similar exchange, Sen.
Numerous Senators on the panel did, however, question whether users were giving informed consent; in other words, whether they knew what they were agreeing to.
"What's happening in Myanmar is a awful tragedy", Zuckerberg answered. He insists that Facebook is an "idealistic" company that did not consider the possibility that its users data could be weaponized for electoral purposes.
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DD: "If you messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you've messaged?"
In response to numerous questions, rather than offering immediate answers Zuckerberg said he'd have his "team" get back to senators with details.
Zuckerberg faces a second day of testimony tomorrow.
This is not the first time Zuckerberg has shown or hinted that he cares for his privacy in ways the regular Facebook users don't.
Zuckerberg is also reportedly very careful about what information he shares. He also said special counsel Robert Mueller's team has spoken with Facebook officials as part of Mueller's probe. The mammoth legalese documents new users are supposed to agree to came up multiple times throughout the hearing. But, as I wrote Monday, some conservatives in the media hoped that Zuckerberg would be confronted about Facebook's alleged bias against right-leaning speech.
That being said, there's no indication that a paid Facebook is in the works, except to say that maybe the company is at least considering it or are open to the idea.
"I hope that everyone will do whatever they can to help increase respect for government", Grassley told Zuckerberg.