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Facebook's Zuckerberg says sorry
10 April 2018, 07:29 | Francis Delgado
PATRICK SEMANSKY AP
Google has lots of information on users including where they are where they should be and what they like to watch
Facebook Inc FB.O Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg met US lawmakers individually on Monday and told Congress in written testimony that the social media network should have done more to prevent itself and its members' data being misused.
Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who sits on both Senate committees, compared the scrutiny of Facebook's data-collection practices by Congress to the landmark 1960s exposé of the US automobile industry that prompted lawmakers to introduce far-reaching safety regulations.
His conciliatory tone precedes two days of congressional hearings where Zuckerberg is set to answer questions about Facebook user data being improperly appropriated by a political consultancy and the role the network played in the USA 2016 election.
The 33-year-old internet mogul is scheduled to appear at 2:15 p.m. local time before a joint hearing of the U.S. Senate's Commerce and Judiciary committees.
Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before Congress this week on the revelation that the information of 87 million Facebook users ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica for a political campaign.
After its worst privacy crisis in history - allegations that this Trump-affiliated data mining firm may have used ill-gotten user data to try to influence elections - Facebook is in full damage-control mode.
"But it's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well", Zuckerberg says in his prepared testimony.
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".
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Last month, it was disclosed that the group obtained data on millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. Tighter regulation of how Facebook uses its members' data could affect its ability to attract advertising revenue, its lifeblood. In a Facebook post Monday, Zuckerberg said he hopes the research commission will "draw unbiased conclusions about Facebook's role in elections" and hold the company accountable.
Nelson said he has asked the Congressional leadership to to haul Cambridge Analytica in to answer questions at a separate hearing.
Facebook suspended B.C. -based technology firm AggregateIQ, which has been linked to the Facebook privacy controversy by Canadian whistle-blower Christopher Wylie.
Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg swapped his trademark T-shirt and jeans for a dark suit and a purple tie on Monday as he met USA lawmakers to apologize for the social network's misuse of its members' data and to head off possible regulation.
Lawmakers are also expected to press Zuckerberg closely on the 2016 election, which he anticipated in his written testimony.
Paul Argenti, a professor of corporate communication at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, says the numerous Facebook announcements are not doing the company any favors. Then came questions about Russian meddling, and reports that Russians targeted Facebook users with political ads.
Zuckerberg said the change will mean "we will hire thousands of more people" to get the new system in place ahead of United States midterm elections in November.
Apps used to be a big deal on Facebook, leading to the huge popularity of Farmville and Words with Friends, meaning that even if you haven't downloaded a Facebook app, you may already have given an app developer leeway to access your details.
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