April 26, 2018

Facebook wants to play God but users are losing faith

12 April 2018, 10:35 | Lucia Cruz

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testifies At Joint Senate Commerce  Judiciary Hearing

In his second testimony before the US Congress, Zuckerberg said Facebook doesn't sell data but uses data that people put into the system to make them more relevant. "But this is an area where I think society's sensibilities are also shifting quickly".

The proliferation of so-called fake news has put Mr. Zuckerberg in an awkward spot, as the company promises to do a better job of weeding out propaganda and falsehoods but insists it can not police free speech.

And right now there's a ton of ways for Facebook to get information about you from sources other than yourself. Some lawmakers seemed unclear on that, but other lawmakers pointed out that the company greatly benefits from the collection of user data for advertising.

Many questions focused on Cambridge Analytica, which gathered data several years ago through a personality quiz created by an academic researcher.

"Facebook has detailed profiles on people who have never signed up for Facebook".

Zuckerberg sat in the hot seat in front of the U.S Senate with cameras surrounding him. "The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires us to do a few more things, and we're going to extend that to the world", he told lawmakers.

Regardless of whether or not Cambridge Analytica did actually access our private messages, the fact that Facebook is only now letting users know that their intimate conversations may have been read by a data firm they unwittingly gave access to their inboxes will make the recovery even more hard for the company.

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Which companies have users data?

Senators asked Zuckerberg some tough questions about issues around Facebook privacy policies, how they allowed the data scrape to happen, if they tracked people who aren't on Facebook and why self-regulation will not work.

Even though Facebook pretends to give you the control over what you "Like" or "Follow", in reality, they're denying you the chance to ever see posts from those pages.

Zuckerberg is admitting something many suspected, and in doing so causes Facebook a serious problem.

"If you messaged anybody this week would you share with us the names of the people you messaged?" It turns out that people mostly entrust their information to Microsoft, Lyft, Tesla, and Netflix which barely managed to generate any negative response. Others asked the CEO about Facebook's restriction of a page belonging to pro-Trump vloggers "Diamond and Silk". Later that year, Facebook began auto-sharing what people were reading with their friends. One said information was likely shared after a friend logged in and another said they were not affected. It wasn't clear which direction they were heading specifically. "I want to make sure in an open session I don't reveal something that's confidential", he said.

"In addition, if you choose to use Facebook from your mobile phone, keep in mind that you'll be responsible for any fees associated with internet usage and/or text messaging as determined by your mobile carrier".

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