"How can consumers have control over their data when Facebook does not have control over the data?" asked Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, at the beginning of Wednesday's hearing.
Bu what struck many during the 10-hour hearing that happened over two days, was when the tech billionaire said that Facebook collects data of non-registered users of the platform, something that they had never publicly admitted to. Even if you do not have a Facebook page, Facebook likely has data about you.
He said the company made big changes in the platform in 2014 that have prevented this specific situation with Cambridge Analytica from occurring again.
Now the Facebook is working with governments in the USA, the United Kingdom and around the world to do a full audit of what they've done and to make sure that they get rid of any data that they still have. Legislators also asked Zuckerberg about Russian-linked efforts to try to sway the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.
Facebook has blamed a company co-founded by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan for improperly collecting data on up to 87 million people around the world, including 311,127 Australians.
Although much of the current worldwide discussion about internet privacy is focused on Facebook's recently publicized policies and failures, the Gallup poll also found a greater number of Google users are concerned about their protecting their privacy when using the platform-35 percent are "very concerned", a 10-point jump from 2011.
Even though Facebook pretends to give you the control over what you "Like" or "Follow", in reality, they're denying you the chance to ever see posts from those pages. Zuckerberg did not deny knowledge of the definition of Facebook's shadow profiles, but he did attempt to cut ties between the definition and the commonly-known name for the subject.
Zuckerberg didn't elaborate more than that during the exchange with Eshoo, including how much of his personal data CA obtained. "We don't sell drugs. The only thing that would work is legislation that limited what ad-tech systems could take and how long they could keep it".
"If you're logged into Facebook with the same browser you use to surf the web, the company knows exactly who you are and the vast majority of the websites you visit", Oppenheim says.
In his opening statement committee chair Greg Walden quoted the company's early motto to "move fast and break things", asking whether the company had "moved too fast and broken too many things". "I think it's something that we get criticized both from the left and the right on what the definitions are that we have". We might be wise as a nation to look at how Europe is handling privacy issues involving apps and social media companies and how we might rewrite our own laws. Members of Congress also pressed Zuckerberg for answers about how quickly it could implement new privacy features and tools to help manage hate speech.
Zuckerberg agreed: "If there's an imminent threat of harm, we're going to take a conservative position on that and make sure that we flag that and understand that more broadly". It was my mistake, and I am sorry.