Mark Zuckerberg said during a hearing by a US Senate committee on Tuesday night that Facebook does not use audio recordings from mobile-enabled microphones to learn more about the users.
Zuckerberg was interrogated by the Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, among others. On the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force in the EU from 25 May and sets up quite stringent privacy rules. The CEO of Facebook had previously said that Facebook would not elevate these upcoming European privacy guarantees to the standard everywhere and this message repeated Zuckerberg during the session. He said that he supports the AVG as a principle, but that the entire law is unlikely to be introduced one-by-one in the US, partly because, according to him, Americans have “different sensitivities.”
The director of Facebook had some difficulty with a good answer to a question from the Republican Senator Roger Wicker about whether Facebook can follow the surfing activities of an internet user, even if it is logged out of Facebook. Zuckerberg tried to hide behind a frequently used defense that he would return to it later with his team, but Wicker was not satisfied with that. He immediately asked if Zuckerberg did not know this, on which the CEO made short, general comments about cookies and that you could ‘probably correlate the activity between sessions’. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook does this for a variety of reasons, such as ensuring security and ensuring that the ads are most effective.
During the session in the Senate, a dozen or so Senators were given the opportunity to ask for a short time to Zuckerberg. It did not get very exciting, partly because not all Senators were equally well informed about the matter or were unable to put Zuckerberg under pressure. For example, there was a senator who asked how Facebook uses a business model where users do not pay for the services, to which Zuckerberg responded after some doubt: ‘Senator, we use adventertions’. On Wednesday, the Facebook director must also appear before a committee of the House of Representatives .