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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testimony Day 2 HIGHLIGHTS: Here’s what happened

Mark Zuckerberg testimony to US Congress day 2 HIGHLIGHTS: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Senate Committee of Energy and Commerce in Capitol Hill today.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 12, 2018 8:42:49 am
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testimony to US Congress day 2 LIVE UPDATES: Mark Zuckerberg testimony to US Congress day 2 HIGHLIGHTS: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees joint hearing on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg continued his testimony to the US Congress on the second day of the hearing over the Cambridge Analytica data leaks scandal. The Facebook CEO emphasised that the company does not sell data. He admitted that his personal data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica as well. Zuckerberg also clarified that the onus of opting-in to privacy settings on Facebook lies with the user. “Users can choose to leave Facebook if they want. They can delete their Facebook data when they want to,” he added. The hearing comes in the wake of allegations that British firm Cambridge Analytica accessed Facebook data of nearly 87 million users to help influence the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Elections as well as the Pro-Brexit campaign in the UK.

On day 1, the Facebook CEO took responsibility for the leaks and answered questions ranging from whether the platform will have a paid version for users who do not want their personal information to be shared improperly to measures the company is taking to ensure fake news does not spread on its platform during elections in several countries, including India in 2018.

Also read: Facebook Mark Zuckerberg US Congress testimony Day 1 Highlights

During his testimony before a joint hearing of the US Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committee, Zuckerberg admitted the company did not do enough to prevent its user data being accessed. Zuckerberg will be testifying before the Committee of Energy and Commerce today and the hearing will at start at 10 AM ET, which is around 7.30 PM in India.

Mark Zuckerberg testimony to US Congress Day 2 LIVE UPDATES

Live Blog

Below are LIVE UPDATES from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Day-2 testimony to US Congress

Highlights

  • 22:52 (IST)

    Is Facebook listening to users' phone calls?

    The question of whether Facebook is listening to user calls is back. "We only use the microphone when a user is recording video. We do not have anything to listen to what is in the background," says Zuckerberg.  

  • 22:43 (IST)

    Facebook CEO is now asked about FaceMash

    "What was FaceMash and is it still running." Zuckerberg says it was a joke website and that it did come up around the time of Facebook in 2003. Zuckerberg says he took it down. For those who do not know, FaceMash allowed users to put pictures of two women next to each other and then compare them.  

  • 22:39 (IST)

    Facebook: Can it exist without collecting and selling user data?

    Zuckerberg again clarifies they do not sell user data. 'The whole point of the service is to share things around you,' he adds. "Is it possible to be in business without collecting the data," asks the Congressman. "It would not be possible for our services to exist, without having the option for users to put in the content and then sharing, " says the Facebook CEO.  

  • 22:23 (IST)

    Why should users trust Facebook again?

    The trust that Facebook users has been shattered, says Congressman Paul Tonko. "Why should we trust Facebook again." People are asking that these data breaches cause more and more harm. What liability should Facebook have when user data is mishandled? "We are responsible for the data for sure," says Mark Zuckerberg. He says they made significant changes in 2014, which would have made Cambridge Analytica impossible. He says he wishes they had made the changes earlier.  

  • 21:52 (IST)

    No amount of people we hire will be enough to flag content

    Facebook CEO says no amount of people they will hire will be enough to flag offensive content. He talks about AI bots which can help flag terrorist content quickly, way before a human editor can do it. 

  • 21:45 (IST)

    Did Facebook offer support for Clinton and Trump campaigns?

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being questioned on whether the company provided support to Clinton and Trump campaigns. He is also being questioned on whether more of Trump's ads were approved compared to the Clinton campaign. 

  • 21:11 (IST)

    Facebook: Did Obama campaign also gain access to user data?

    The Facebook CEO is being questioned on whether Obama campaign was helped in 2012 similar to how Cambridge Analytica got the data.  Zuckerberg is again explaining how apps worked on the platform. 'We know now that we should have had a more restrictive platform,' admits the Facebook CEO. 

  • 20:52 (IST)

    How many apps is Facebook investigating?

    "There are tens of thousands of apps that had access to a lot of the user information before we locked down the platform in 2014," says Zuckerberg. He says if they find suspicious activity, then they will bring in third-party auditors. "It will take many months to do this process," says Zuckerberg. It will be a long and expensive process for Facebook to bring in the auditors.  

  • 20:34 (IST)

    Facebook CEO Zuckerberg says that all users own the data they share. 'Privacy is not an add-on feature,' he says, but the Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is not convinced. "Will you commit to working with us to pass the Browser Act for privacy," she asks. Zuckerberg says he is not aware of the Browser Act. "You have to give consumers opt-in," she argues.   

    Facebook CEO Zuckerberg says that all users own the data they share. 'Privacy is not an add-on feature,' he says, but the Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is not convinced. "Will you commit to working with us to pass the Browser Act for privacy," she asks. Zuckerberg says he is not aware of the Browser Act. "You have to give consumers opt-in," she argues.   

  • 20:12 (IST)

    The 'weaponization of Facebook', says Anna Eshoo from California

    Anna Eshoo is also asking questions based from her constituents. "Do you think you have a moral responsibility to run a platform that protects our democracy?" Yes, replies Zuckerberg. "Will Facebook offer to all its users a blanet opt-in for sharing their data with third-party app developers?" Zuckerberg says that this is how the platform works. Eshoo is also not convinced. "Are you aware of other third parties where data was being accessed?" The Facebook CEO says they are investigating this. 

    "Was your personal data included in the data sold to malicious parties?" Yes, says Zuckerberg. "Are you willling to change your business model?" Zuckerberg says he does not follow on this.  "When did Facebook learn about Cambridge Analytica data leaks," asks Anna Eshoo. Zuckerberg says they learned about this in 2015. "Did you speak to their CEO immediately," she presses. "Their chief data officer told us they had deleted the data," says the Facebook CEO.  

  • 20:03 (IST)

    What is the difference between Facebook and surveillance?

    Zuckerberg say there is a big difference between surveillance and Facebook. "Users can choose to leave Facebook if they want.  They can delete their Facebook data when they want to," he adds. Senator Bobby Rush is not convinced. "Why is the onus on the user to opt-in to privacy settings?" Zuckerberg again reiterates that everytime someone wants to share, it is clear who they are sharing the data with. 

  • 19:50 (IST)

    Facebook does not sell data

    I can't be clearer on this topic, we don't sell data, says Mark Zuckerberg. 

  • 19:45 (IST)

    Mark Zuckerberg on Cambridge Analytica

    He admits the company failed in this particular incident.  "This information was generally information that people share on the profile page. When we first contacted Cambridge Analytica, they told us they had deleted the data. Later we found out this was not true." Zuckerberg says they are now doing a full audit of this Cambridge Analytica data and cooperating with US and UK governments. "We've made some big changs to our platform in 2014, and it will make sure that another incident like this does not happen," he says.  

  • 19:43 (IST)

    Mark Zuckerberg begins talking as part of his testimony

    "Facebook is a idealistic company. We've got a powerful new tool for making sure people stay connected," says Zuckerberg. He refers to the #MeToo movement, and how Facebook was used to collect donations during  Hurricane Harvey. "However it is clear now that we did not do enough to stop these tools from being used for harm," he adds. Zuckerberg again apologises, says "It was my mistake."  "Not enough to just connect people, we have to make sure the connections are positive. We need to make sure developers protect the user information. Need to make sure the tools are used for good." 

  • 19:40 (IST)

    How was Facebook so blind to Russian interference?

    Frank Pallone says that how was Facebook so blind to Russian interference, when there were red flags all over the place. He's also pushing for legislation on privacy issues. He says the cycle needs to be breaking. "We have the hearing over and over again, and nothing happens," he concludes.   

  • 19:00 (IST)

    Zuckerberg testimony: The notes from his hearing revealed

    Associated Press photographer Andrew Harnik has shared a picture of the Facebook CEO's notes from the day 1 testimony to the US Congress Committee. The notes talks about the Tim Cook and Facebook dispute , about EU's GDPR regulations. They also say, "Don't say we already do what GDPR requires." Check out the photo below, which shows Zuckerberg's notes. 

  • 18:39 (IST)

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when he was questioned about his own privacy

    During the day 1 testimony, Senator Durbin asked the Facebook CEO if he would be comfortable sharing  the name of the hotel where he stayed last night. A slightly confused Zuckerberg replied, “um…uhh..no.” The Senator also asked if the Facebook CEO would share the names of all the people who he had messaged this week. “Senator, no. I would probably not choose to do that publicly, here,” said Zuckerberg. His response to his own privacy was interesting, especially since Facebook encourage people to share a lot more, including places where they check in.  The Senator pointed out that this was the key points of debate in the hearing, which is around the rights of privacy, the limits of one's right to privacy and how much people are giving away in the name of, 'connecting people around the world.”  During the hearing, one Senator also pointed out to Zuckerberg, 'Your user agreement sucks.' 

  • 18:24 (IST)

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when asked about an 'ad-free' paid model of the site

    One of the questions which was raised during the Zuckerberg's day one hearing was around a paid version of the site, and whethe Facebook might one day be ad-free.  He did not completely rule out a paid version of Facebook. The CEO said, " There will always be a version of Facebook that is free. It is our mission to try to help connect everyone around the world and to bring the world closer together. In order to do that, we believe that we need to offer a service that everyone can afford, and we're committed to doing that."  When asked how does Facebook sustain its business, he replied, “Senator, we run ads....We can show the ads to the right people without that data ever changing hands and going to the advertiser.”  Zuckerberg also claimed that Facebook’s advertising model is “often misunderstood.” 

    Mark Zuckerberg also said, “My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together. Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that, as long as I am running Facebook.”

00:46 (IST)12 Apr 2018
It's a wrap!

Zuckerberg says he is committed to being more "pro-active."

That's the end of two days of Mark Zuckerberg testimony. Thanks for joining us for our live coverage.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Washington. (Source: REUTERS)

00:27 (IST)12 Apr 2018
As Facebook CEO you didn’t know some key facts: Michigan Democrat Debbie Dingell

Michigan Democrat, Debbie Dingell grills Zuckerberg: "As CEO you didn’t know some key facts. You didn’t know about key court cases regarding privacy and your company. You don't even know all kind of information Facebook is collecting from its users."

Dingell asks how many 'like' buttons are there in non-Facebook pages?

I don't know the answer to that, says Zuckerberg.

Dingell continues, How many 'share' buttons are there in non-Facebook pages?

I don't know the answer to that, we can follow up and get back to you, says Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg gets 72 hours for his response.

23:56 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook's role in fighting terrorism

Commenting on Republican Susan Brooks question on ISIS and other terrorist organizations using Facebook for recruitment purpose, Mark Zuckerberg says, "terrorist content propaganda has no place in" Facebook's network. Zuckerberg says that Facebook has developed tools, that identifies such content and takes it down even before being flagged by someone.

23:06 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Did Facebook buy data from data brokers?

Zuckerberg said they did do this in the past, but have announced the practice will be shut down. 

22:52 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Is Facebook listening to users' phone calls?

The question of whether Facebook is listening to user calls is back. "We only use the microphone when a user is recording video. We do not have anything to listen to what is in the background," says Zuckerberg.  

22:49 (IST)11 Apr 2018
The question of Facebook having the ability to delete, rescind messages

"Yes we do have a policy where we can delete, rescind emails after sometime," says Zuckerberg. Anything with a legal value is not deleted, he indicates. 

22:43 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook CEO is now asked about FaceMash

"What was FaceMash and is it still running." Zuckerberg says it was a joke website and that it did come up around the time of Facebook in 2003. Zuckerberg says he took it down. For those who do not know, FaceMash allowed users to put pictures of two women next to each other and then compare them.  

22:39 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook: Can it exist without collecting and selling user data?

Zuckerberg again clarifies they do not sell user data. 'The whole point of the service is to share things around you,' he adds. "Is it possible to be in business without collecting the data," asks the Congressman. "It would not be possible for our services to exist, without having the option for users to put in the content and then sharing, " says the Facebook CEO.  

22:23 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Why should users trust Facebook again?

The trust that Facebook users has been shattered, says Congressman Paul Tonko. "Why should we trust Facebook again." People are asking that these data breaches cause more and more harm. What liability should Facebook have when user data is mishandled? "We are responsible for the data for sure," says Mark Zuckerberg. He says they made significant changes in 2014, which would have made Cambridge Analytica impossible. He says he wishes they had made the changes earlier.  

22:11 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Data of 2 billion users being scrapped

Facebook CEO is being questioned over the Search feature, which was used to scrape user data of nearly all of its 2 billion users.  Zuckerberg is being questioned on why Facebook did nothing for so long on this issue, especially when it was revealed as early as 2013.  Facebook CEO is also questioned on shadow profiles of users who are not on Facebook. 

22:09 (IST)11 Apr 2018
The question of fake accounts is now being discussed

Mark Zuckerberg is talking about how they plan to control fake accounts, especially where pictures of other users are used. Long term solution, he says, to build more AI tools which can find patterns that no human would be able to do. Zuckerberg says that's an area where they will be able to develop more AI tools for the same. 

22:07 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook is asked about what data they make available to Russian agencies, govt

'If we have knowledge of imminent harm, we try and reach out to local law enforcement agencies to make sure no harm takes place. That's most well-built in the US, than in other countries. The second category is general legal processes. We are not in the business of providing information to Russian govt and agencies,' says Mark Zuckerberg. "We do not store data in Russia." 

22:04 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Privacy Regulation question comes up again

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says they will work with the Committee to help such a privacy regulation. 

22:01 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Questions around Opioids being sold on Facebook

Zuckerberg facing some tough questions on opioids being sold via the platform.  He is facing questions on why Facebook has not taken actions those selling opioids on the platform. "You said we were going to take down those ads. You didn't do it," says David McKinley. "I agree this is a terrible issue. But when there are 10 of billions of content being shared every day, even 20,000 people are not enough," says Zuckerberg.  

21:52 (IST)11 Apr 2018
No amount of people we hire will be enough to flag content

Facebook CEO says no amount of people they will hire will be enough to flag offensive content. He talks about AI bots which can help flag terrorist content quickly, way before a human editor can do it. 

21:51 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook being questioned over its 2012 experiment where it limited positive and negative posts for some users

Zuckerberg is asked to explain this experiement that took place in 2012. "At the time, there were a number of questions, whether people seeing positive or negative content on social network was affecting their mood. We felt we had a responsiblity to know if we can have that affect. We didn't want to have that affect." says Zuckerberg.  

21:45 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Did Facebook offer support for Clinton and Trump campaigns?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being questioned on whether the company provided support to Clinton and Trump campaigns. He is also being questioned on whether more of Trump's ads were approved compared to the Clinton campaign. 

21:37 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Collecting information on users who do not even have a Facebook account?

The questions to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: Is Facebook collecting data on those users who do not even have a account? I don't think the average American understands that? You can track people's searches, what people buy online? Zuckerberg is struggling here. The Congresswoman Kathy Castor is going hard with the questions on whether Facebook is gathering data. "I disagreee with that characterisation," says Mark Zuckerberg.  

21:33 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Additional breaches on Facebook: We got the balance wrong, says Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is told about COO Sheryl Sandberg's statement that there could be other data breaches. Zuckerberg admits they did get it wrong. "We were trying to balance data portability and we needed to make sure that everyone's data is protected. We did not get the balance right, " says Zuckerberg. 

21:11 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook: Did Obama campaign also gain access to user data?

The Facebook CEO is being questioned on whether Obama campaign was helped in 2012 similar to how Cambridge Analytica got the data.  Zuckerberg is again explaining how apps worked on the platform. 'We know now that we should have had a more restrictive platform,' admits the Facebook CEO. 

21:02 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook is being questioned on issue of content discrimination

The principle is that we are a platform for all ideas and I care for this idea deeply. None of the changes we make are with any bias in mind, says Zuckerberg. The Facebook CEO admits that they do make mistakes at time in content review. "I would not extrapolate that the system is biased on the basis of a few examples," he adds. 

20:58 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Zuckerberg says his own personal data was sold to 'malicious third parties'

Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers that his own personal data was included in that of 87 million or so Facebook users that was improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

20:57 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Has Facebook tried to get some of these app companies to delete user data?

Zuckerberg says when they were first told in 2015, they had asked the developer to delete the data. This is in reference to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 'We need to confirm whether derivatives were deleted, before I can confirm this,' adds the Facebook CEO. 

20:56 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Any deadline for the Facebook App investigation

We expect it to take many months, say Zuckerberg. The Congresswoman replies saying, Years? Zuckerberg says he hopes not. 

20:52 (IST)11 Apr 2018
How many apps is Facebook investigating?

"There are tens of thousands of apps that had access to a lot of the user information before we locked down the platform in 2014," says Zuckerberg. He says if they find suspicious activity, then they will bring in third-party auditors. "It will take many months to do this process," says Zuckerberg. It will be a long and expensive process for Facebook to bring in the auditors.  

20:50 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: Did they turn a blind eye to the issue?

Zuckerberg is pressed on whether the company turned a blind eye to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, when it was first highlighted. The FTC consent decree of 2011 is being discussed and how Facebook overlooked the app like the one from Aleksander Kogan, which is improperly used Facebook data. "Why should we trust you to follow these processes," is the question for Zuckerberg. Facebook CEO disagrees that the company has not followed due processes. 

20:44 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook algorithm: Bias against conservative news content?

Facebook's new algorithm is being questioned and whether it is negativel impacts conservative content. Zuckerberg says no directive to have a bias. "Our goal is to be a platform for all ideas." 

20:42 (IST)11 Apr 2018
The question on how does Facebook track users, after they log off is back

The Facebook CEO is asked the data that is mined for security purposes, also sold for advertising. Zuckerberg says he will follow up on that.

20:40 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: Impact on user behaviour

Zuckerberg is asked whether Facebook has seen a rise in users de-activating their accounts in light of the Cambridge Analytica. He says no. He is also asked whether Facebook has seen a decrease in user interaction after the Cambridge Analytica incident came to light. Zuckerberg denies this is true. Mark Zuckerberg is now being asked about an FTC investigation. "I remember the consent decree. But I don't remember the financial penalty," says Zuckerberg. 

20:36 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Zuckerberg says regulation of social media is 'inevitable'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he believes it is ``inevitable'' that there will be regulation of his industry.

20:36 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Does Facebook subjectively manipulate it algorithm to censor speech?

Zuckerberg says they only remove hate speech or terrorism-related content. 

20:34 (IST)11 Apr 2018

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg says that all users own the data they share. 'Privacy is not an add-on feature,' he says, but the Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is not convinced. "Will you commit to working with us to pass the Browser Act for privacy," she asks. Zuckerberg says he is not aware of the Browser Act. "You have to give consumers opt-in," she argues.   

20:31 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Zuckerberg being grilled on GDPR in EU and comparisons with US

Zuckerberg is asked whether Facebook will have the same tools needed to comply with GDPR and in the US. The Facebook CEO says the tools will be the same globally. 

20:26 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook's Terms and Conditions are now under scrutiny

"It is really important for our service that people know what they are signing up for. We have laid out the terms and conditions for people, " says Zuckerberg. "Is the average consumer look at the terms and conditions and make the evaluation that is good or bad? If a consumer wanted to know, could they know," asks US Congressman Michael Burgess. 

20:22 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Does Facebook have the ability to know when a foreign entity is attempting to buy a political ad?

Zuckerberg says yes, Facebook has the ability. "This has become a top priority for the company to make sure this does not happen again." We are employing new AI tools to catch fake accounts that could be spreading fake information. 

20:20 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Facebook CEO being asked whether criminals, terrorist networks have scrapped user data

Zuckerberg says they are not aware of any specific terrorist or criminal groups that have engaged in such kinds of activity, where the user data was sold. "We do not allow hate groups on Facebook overall," he adds. 

20:17 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Zuckerberg is asked about Facebook tracking logged off users

We do this for two reasons: Security and ad reasons. For security we need to make sure that someone who is not logged in can't access public data of other users. The second reason is for ad networks. "We may collect information to make some ads more relevant. Anyone can turn it off," he says. 

20:12 (IST)11 Apr 2018
The 'weaponization of Facebook', says Anna Eshoo from California

Anna Eshoo is also asking questions based from her constituents. "Do you think you have a moral responsibility to run a platform that protects our democracy?" Yes, replies Zuckerberg. "Will Facebook offer to all its users a blanet opt-in for sharing their data with third-party app developers?" Zuckerberg says that this is how the platform works. Eshoo is also not convinced. "Are you aware of other third parties where data was being accessed?" The Facebook CEO says they are investigating this. 

"Was your personal data included in the data sold to malicious parties?" Yes, says Zuckerberg. "Are you willling to change your business model?" Zuckerberg says he does not follow on this.  "When did Facebook learn about Cambridge Analytica data leaks," asks Anna Eshoo. Zuckerberg says they learned about this in 2015. "Did you speak to their CEO immediately," she presses. "Their chief data officer told us they had deleted the data," says the Facebook CEO.  

20:06 (IST)11 Apr 2018
Mark Zuckerberg on regulation: Needs to be thought through very carefully

"There needs to be some regulation. We have to be careful about the kind of regulation that comes into place," he adds. It needs to be thought through very carefully, says the Facebook CEO. 

20:03 (IST)11 Apr 2018
What is the difference between Facebook and surveillance?

Zuckerberg say there is a big difference between surveillance and Facebook. "Users can choose to leave Facebook if they want.  They can delete their Facebook data when they want to," he adds. Senator Bobby Rush is not convinced. "Why is the onus on the user to opt-in to privacy settings?" Zuckerberg again reiterates that everytime someone wants to share, it is clear who they are sharing the data with. 

In opening remarks of two days of Congressional hearings, the Facebook CEO said that the going forward, the company will take a more “proactive position” on deletion of “improperly” transferred data. He also accepted that it was a mistake that they believed Cambridge Analytica and added that Facebook supports regulation of tech companies.

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On Tuesday, Zuckerberg said his company is “working with” special counsel Robert Mueller in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential campaign. He also apologised for Facebook failing to better protect the personal information of its 2 billion-odd users. Whatever he said seemed to have worked as Facebook shares surged 4.5 per cent for the day, the biggest gain in two years.