Mark Zuckerberg is now by day two of his “interrogation” by the American government about the Cambridge Analytica case. The tone has become a bit grimmer, with several members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who have shamed the Facebook CEO over Facebook’s privacy settings. One can not rest assured that the institutions are solid enough and asked Zuckerberg if he was prepared to adjust it. He made it clear before the change that the European GDPR rules will be rolled out worldwide.
No shadow profiles
The representatives in the committee knew something better that they talked about than the congressmen who were yesterday’s turn. There was a lot of questions about how Facebook exactly follows people on the internet and whether there were shadow profiles for people who followed Facebook but who were not or no longer members of Facebook. Zuckerberg denied the latter.
Following the web activity of users was partly for security purposes, the CEO said. An important part was, of course, the targeted advertisements and for that the activity of users was also followed, but Zuckerberg reiterated that users can choose not to get targeted advertisements.
The discussion became equally fierce when the protection of the data of children was discussed. A committee member asked whether there was a reason why the data of everyone under 18 could not be just one hundred percent private. “What is wrong with that?” Joe Barton asked Zuckerberg.
They avoided that by saying that many teenagers want to ventilate their opinions publicly. Of course, that has nothing to do with collecting their data, but the committee did not get Zuckerberg to go that far with that plan. Not a resounding success, in that sense, so it remains to be seen what the official consequences of the talks will be.