Zuckerberg and The Cambridge Analytica Brouhaha
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, on April 10, 2018, faced the US Congress for a period of 5 hours over a data-sharing scandal. During the session, he answered questions bordering on data privacy, data mining, regulations and the Cambridge Analytica Scandal.
Regarding the Cambridge Scandal, it was claimed that an analytics firm, which helped President Donald Trump in the 2016 US elections, got the personal data of about 87 million users of Facebook, especially those in the US. It was also claimed that the company used the 2016 US presidential campaign to spread propaganda and bogus headlines about Russia, thereby helping to heighten discrimination.
In all, Zuckerberg apologized to the Congress for the mistakes that led to the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, taking full responsibility as the owner of Facebook. As he has always done, he stated that the company is currently rethinking safety responsibility to users and society.
But a couple of things stand out from the hearing. One is that each senator had a little less than 5 minutes for the questioning, which meant that it might have confused the people more, as there was no opportunity for follow-ups and big discoveries.
Judging from the Bill Gate’s Microsoft hearing, during which he had to face a couple of lawyers for several days, it can be inferred that a hearing of this magnitude couldn’t have been effectively concluded in one day. But that was how it went down!
Key moments of the hearing:
- Right to privacy
On this, Zuckerberg said, “I believe it’s important to tell people exactly how the information they share on Facebook is going to be used. That’s why every single time you go to share something on Facebook, whether it’s a photo or a message, every single time, there’s a control right there about who you’re going to be sharing it with … and you can change that and control that in line.”
- Storing and selling personal data
Here, this is what he had to say, “There’s a very common misconception that we sell data to advertisers. We do not sell data to advertisers. What we allow is for advertisers to tell us who they want to reach, and then we do the placement … That’s a very fundamental part of how our model works and something that is often misunderstood.”
Asked what he thinks about regulations surrounding his company, he responded, “My position is not that there should be no regulation. I think the real question, as the internet becomes more important in people’s lives, is what is the right regulation, not whether there should be or not.”
Worthy of note here is that Zuckerberg believes Facebook is more trustworthy with data than the government.
Facebook is a market moving force and the number one social media marketing platform in the world, holding a very strong position in online marketing. While we agree that mistakes do happen, we strongly believe that we need to learn from them and push ahead stronger, instead of apportioning blames and continuing the cycle.
Though it’s sure that there will be turbulence in the stock market for Facebook, investors are more prepared for it. On your own, what impact do you think this will have on Facebook?