Facebook scandal reveals startling power of social media

In Zuckerberg's prepared testimony, which the House Energy and Commerce Committee released Monday, he will present a timeline of what happened with Cambridge Analytica, but does not address why Facebook did not inform users about the issue three years ago.

Despite the changes, Mr. Zuckerberg is still expected to face a grilling from members of Congress about his company's privacy policies, foreign political interference and Facebook's extraordinarily profitable ad-based business model, which involves collecting and analyzing personal information on users to help advertisers better target their audience.

He also says the company is investigating every app that had access to a large amount of information before the company moved to prevent such access in 2014 - something that came too late in the Cambridge Analytica case.

Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the US, though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the United Kingdom. He will try to explain how much Facebook contributes to the world, while saying he didn't take a broad enough view of the consequences of the company's technology.

It took Facebook until September 2017, 10 months after the election, to go public with its first findings on the Russian meddling, which it says appeared in the news feeds of 126 million customers - equal to almost half the adult population of the United States.

The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also - thanks to Facebook's loose restrictions - data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn't meant to share publicly.

"The only thing I really share is recipes, if they want to hack me for my recipes go for it", said Facebook user Mary Beth Vanderbilt. "That goes for fake news".

Zuckerberg said in his testimony that Facebook's major investments in security "will significantly impact our profitability going forward".

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is bracing for back-to-back congressional hearings starting Tuesday over the abuse of his massive social media site and private data breach scandals from the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg poses a question during the CEO Summit.

Edwards deleted his own Facebook account shortly after the revelations regarding Cambridge Analytica broke, and said New Zealanders should seriously consider doing the same and then resetting their profile.

Zuckerberg has been unclear about whether Facebook would extend the European protections to the USA and elsewhere.

"But it's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well", Zuckerberg says in his prepared testimony. In Facebook's example message, the company suggests how Cambridge Analytica might have accessed your data via a friend.

In Washington, Zuckerberg is also meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, according to a spokesman.

In a blogpost on Monday, Facebook announced that it is recruiting academic experts to direct an independent election research commission that would assign researchers to study the effects of social media on elections and democracy.

Facebook is about to tell you if your data was swept up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Nelson said it would be "very difficult" to impose regulations, particularly during the current administration.

"I believe he understands that regulation could be right around the corner", Nelson said.

Theoretically, Vladeck says, Facebook could be assessed $40,000 per violation.

  • Joey Payne