Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted in his testimony before the US Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committee that his personal information was also breached by Cambridge Analytica. On Day 2 of Congressional hearings, Zuckerberg responded to a host of questions related to privacy of users on the platform and what it is doing to limit the type of data they collect and use.
The Facebook CEO said that the onus of data privacy lies on users as the service offers opt-in features for privacy. He reiterated that every time someone wants to share data, it is clear who they are sharing it with.
Zuckerberg clarified that 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 added. Zuckerberg added that Facebook is limiting the type of data that it collects and use. The platform will be changing default settings to be more privacy protective as well. “We have changed a lot of the way our platform works so that developers cannot access so much information,” Zuckerberg said.
However, in response to Senator Frank Pallone’s question whether he could make a commitment to change default settings to minimise collection of user data, Zuckerberg did not give a definitive yes or no answer. “..This is a complicated issue,” he added.
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Anna Eshoo from California asked several questions based from her constituents including whether Facebook has a moral responsibility to run a platform that protects our democracy, to which Zuckerberg said yes. “Will Facebook offer to all its users a blanket opt-in for sharing their data with third-party app developers?” she asked. Zuckerberg said this is how the platform works.
Asked whether criminals, terrorist networks have scrapped user data, Zuckerberg said 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 added. Zuckerberg also said that the service have several tools in place to ensure that kids are safe on the platform.