Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Congress grilled Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for almost 10 hours. What's next?

An example of what you might see if your data was not shared after following the above steps. Facebook An example of what you might see if your data was not shared after following the above steps. Facebook
Velma Reese | 13 April, 2018, 06:28

The 33-year-old CEO conceded that some regulation of social media companies is "inevitable", while offering a laundry list of reform pledges at Facebook and vowing to improve privacy and security.

Zuckerberg said it would take "many months" to complete an audit of other apps that might also have improperly gathered or shared users' data.

The shares fell steeply after it came to light that millions of users' personal information was harvested from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has counted US President Donald Trump's election campaign among its clients. And the more data that Facebook collects allows you to better target ads to users or classes of users.

But he stiffly defended Facebook's business model that uses the data and postings of the 2.2 billion users of its free platform in order to attract the advertising revenue the US$480 billion (S$629 billion) company depends on.

There, Facebook states clearly that it tracks users and non-users on every site that features a Facebook "Like" or "Share" button (including the article you're reading right now).

Zuckerberg himself said regulation could hurt its smaller rivals. "Why should we trust you?" asked Democratic Representative Mike Doyle.

In his opening remarks at US Congress, he said: "Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company".

Rep. Anna Eshoo from California asked Zuckerberg if he thinks that Facebook has a moral obligation to run the company in a way that protects democracy, to which he answered yes. "Is it true that Facebook is going to charge to use the site?"

Syracuse University professor Jennifer Grygiel called the hearings "an important milestone".

Apple reportedly cuts HomePod orders after disappointing early sales
Hopefully, we see these improvements sooner rather than later as well as upgrades to the Siri experience on HomePod. Slice says the HomePod's market share dropped to 10% at the 10-week mark and to 4% three weeks after launch.

When my colleague Sara Ashley O'Brien downloaded her 14-year Facebook history, she found that Facebook had access to a litany of details from her past, including the phone number of her late grandmother, who never used Facebook, and conversations with an ex whom she had unfriended.

The data scandal wiped away tens of billions of dollars from Facebook's market value, prompted political scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic and even raised the once unthinkable question of whether Zuckerberg should step down as CEO.

To be fair, we did find out a few potentially useful things.

By one measure, Zuckerberg succeeded in his Washington appearance. In total, Facebook's stock has gained 4.5 percent since the start of the hearings, CNN Money reports.

When Mark said "no", he replied: "I think that may be what this is all about".

It seems, in fact, that the company is counting on users themselves having a similarly lackluster understanding, and at the end of the day not really caring about Facebook's privacy blunders. It's a platform, and it competes not only with other platforms for user attention to then sell that attention to advertisers, but with anything and everything that can occupy human attention.

"While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it has not matured", Walden, R-Ore., told Zuckerberg.

"No one is going to be able to sufficiently regulate' Facebook until lawmakers are adequately educated about how it works".

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