Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ADMITS political bias concerns at Congress hearing

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ADMITS political bias concerns at Congress hearing

On Monday, Facebook rolled out a tool that tells users if their account allowed access to "This Is Your Digital Life", an app that contained data that was eventually used for political research by Cambridge Analytica. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a fierce privacy advocate.

His testimony marks a pivotal moment for Facebook, as Zuckerberg will spend two days answering lawmakers' questions about what the company is doing to protect users' privacy.

"This deserves a lot of discussion", he said about a privacy bill of rights for children.

Lawmakers want better protections after data breaches that affected tens of millions of users. "If Facebook and other online companies will not or can not stop the privacy invasions, then we are going to have to - we, the Congress". But he hedged on the details of that cooperation.

"There will always be a version of Facebook that is free", Zuckerberg told the hearing.

"So this is an arms race", he said, adding that it was important to invest in the ability of Facebook to stop foreign attempts to alter elections. "I'm not actually sure what that is referring to".

"I have more confidence we'll get this right because since the 2016 election, there have been several important elections around the world where we've had a better track record", Zuckerberg said, referring to elections in France, Germany, and the special senate race in Alabama past year. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

If you messaged anyone this week, would you share with us the names of the people you've messaged?

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"I would probably not choose to do that", he said. A number of the Russian ads were on Facebook.

Dozens of cardboard cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are seen during an protest outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018. You know that and I know that.

The Congressional hearings come almost a month after news broke that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, accessed information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Why should we trust Facebook to make the necessary changes to ensure user privacy & give people a clearer picture of your privacy policies? "We believe it is entirely possible that there will be a connection there".

At one stage, Mark was asked whether Facebook could see "emails" sent over WhatsApp - while Senator Orrin Hatch asked how Facebook can "sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?"

In total, more than 87 million users worldwide were caught up in the data scandal when Cambridge Analytica allegedly used its data to influence the 2016 USA election.

That agreement required the company to get the consent of its users before sharing their data with third parties.

"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.

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