What should the 'inevitable' regulation of Facebook look like?

Alfred Osborne
April 15, 2018

The data-harvesting app which gathered private information for Cambridge Analytica also collected users' private messages, The Guardian reported on Friday.

What happened with Cambridge Analytica illustrates how our personal boundaries for using that data in the real world are being tested. Facebook would argue that a free, personalized user experience is the value you get in exchange for them taking your data from you. "If you're logged out or don't have a Facebook account and visit a website with the Like button or another social plugin, your browser sends us a more limited set of info". And what should also be clear after the hearings is just how little care social media giants have taken to construct products that are hard for bad actors to exploit.

When Zuckerberg was asked about Facebook's so-called shadow profiles he was visibly uncomfortable (well, more than usual) which had plenty of people asking what exactly are they?

"But overall, I think that the ads experience is going to be the best one". "Issues about violating people's privacy don't seem to be surmountable", Zuckerberg said at the time.

As for the federal Russian Federation probe that has occupied much of Washington's attention for months, he said he had not been interviewed by special counsel Mueller's team, but "I know we're working with them". While Facebook continues to insist that this remains an "opt-in" feature, the fact is that the app's set-up process doesn't really clarify that at first glance. Responding to a question, he told lawmakers that he meant to initiate legal action against the firm accused of stealing personal data and using it for political purposes in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

"Congressman, I do not know off the top of my head but I can have our team get back to you afterwards", came the familiar response which has become a crutch for Mr Facebook whenever he's been asked a question which may elicit an uncomfortable truth.

His answer matters because what Facebook is determines how lawmakers regulate it. Issie Lapowsky, senior writer for Wired Magazine, says Facebook is a lot of things - and they still don't necessarily understand it.

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"It is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation" of internet firms, Zuckerberg said, but he avoided any specifics. Zuckerberg testified for around five hours in a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

Pallone said that if Democrats were in charge, "then we would push all the more".

Plan II freshman Ross Trivisonno said though he was angered about the data leak, it would take much more for him to delete Facebook, a necessity on par with email or text for him. He assured senators the company would have handled the situation differently today.

"You don't think you have a monopoly?"

"That goes for fake news, for interference in elections and we didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake and it was my mistake and I'm sorry", the Facebook CEO said.

"We're not going to share people's information except for with the people that they've asked for it to be shared".

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