Zuckerberg Hearings Prove Why Government Shouldn't Regulate Facebook

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"Senator, yes. There will always be a version of Facebook that is free".

While Washington appears unlikely to pass any new data privacy or security regulations in the near term given the current political atmosphere, Facebook and other technology companies with users in Europe will soon have to comply with new controls from the European Union.

Zuckerberg began his testimony yesterday in much the same way he did during Tuesday's appearance before a joint meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Facebook's irresponsibility isn't merely an abuse of a personal relationship - what its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, called "a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us" - but also an abuse of a civic relationship.

The Facebook CEO recounted a list of steps aimed at averting improper use of data by third parties like Cambridge Analytica, and noted that other applications were also being investigated to determine if they did anything wrong. That line nearly worked, until Representatives Kathy Castor, a Florida Democrat, and Ben Lujan, a New Mexico Democrat, pointed out that the company is collecting personal data on people who don't use the social network and have never signed a privacy agreement.

But Facebook users absolutely do not have this level of control over the digital dossiers that Facebook collects about their activity on Facebook and beyond, nor do they have granular control over how advertisers can harness that information.

House lawmakers aggressively questioned Zuckerberg Wednesday on user data, privacy settings and whether the company is biased against conservatives. Zuckerberg didn't answer directly.

Picture: other What is Congress trying to find out from Zuckerberg? The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also - thanks to Facebook's loose restrictions - data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn't meant to share publicly.

When Durbin asked Zuckerberg if Messenger Kids data would be deleted when the kids grow up, Facebook's CEO replied yes.

Here too, though, it was as if they were asking Zuckerberg for approval rather than serving as the US's law-making body. Such a system might have the potential to block bad posts before they spread, without humans needing to make subjective decisions in individual cases.

Over the two days, the value of Zuckerberg's stake in Facebook grew about $US3 billion ($NZ4 billion). "That to me is more important than any one person's career".

Do you use to like the friendversary and birthday videos Facebook made for you? However, many who watched the hearing are wondering - if Congress doesn't understand the company well enough, should they be regulating it?

Senator Klobuchar said. "Consumers have the right to know if their personal information is being sold and they have the right to easily see what data has already been sold or distributed". Even Zuckerberg said regulation of his industry is "inevitable". Congress is unlikely to get it done during this session.

The hearings came almost a month after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. It's also unsafe because people don't know how they have been profiled-or whether their profile is biased, wrong, or otherwise unfair.