Facebook under fire for Cambridge Analytica data leak


Facebook will soon be governed by stricter privacy controls in Europe, and Zuckerberg said he would extend those privacy protections, which take effect in May, to Facebook users in the U.S.

The inclination to smile, shake your head indulgently, and hit the "delete" key was impossibly strong.

Jelinek on Wednesday expressed support for similar probes from European authorities, like the one launched by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), but added that regulators also need to take a broader look at the practice of data harvesting and its implications for internet users. Mr Zuckerberg should have known that perfectly respectable academic research into social media had been going on, some of it with the involvement of Facebook employees. Lawmakers tried a few times to get Zuckerberg to say this, but he never did. For all the talk about people "connecting" and "building communities", Facebook has us doing these things by choice, curated by individual taste.

Zuckerberg responded saying: "Congressman, that is an accurate description of the prank website I made when I was a sophomore".

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, asked Zuckerberg if he would be willing to work with lawmakers to examine what "regulations you think are necessary in your industry". You (or, one of your staffers) even have a verified account there.

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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, asked Zuckerberg on Tuesday during the Senate committees hearing about the company's handling of Messenger Kids data.

Zuckerberg's reply: "It will not be shared with third parties".

That's only true if you're capable of time-travel, or still live in 2002, where you faithfully maintain your Friendster or MySpace pages. Some of us even go so far as to change our names on Facebook in fear of our profiles being discovered by employers or college admission officers, just so we can continue sharing, liking, and friending at our own discretion. So you don't know where your Facebook data really is. At least in Canada, under the privacy laws, you can give somebody consent to use your information and then you can withdraw that consent.

Still, Zuckerberg, as is the custom of a corporate titan on an apology tour, appropriately simulated penitentence before the joint committee. Social media giant Facebook came under fire recently after it was revealed they allowed data firm Cambridge Analytica to access millions of users' data and subsequently used the information to target voters with advertisements during the 2016 presidential campaign.

So Zuckerberg, who owns more than 401.4 million shares in Facebook, got almost $3 billion richer in the past few days. There was a lot of energy behind some kind of regulation. We have to make sure those connections are positive. It doesn't. But it does trade off user data. These days, the Lewiston High School grad is working for a small, nonprofit company called The Center for Humane Technology, which focuses on privacy issues and the idea that many social media platforms and other online services are created to be addicting. And if he's hiding information from us, they've gotta know that, too, and legally require him to turn it over.