Mark Zuckerberg in Congress

Facebook Inc. founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg will make the first of two appearances before Congress Tuesday, facing questions about controversies such as the harvesting of user data by research firm Cambridge Analytica.

The prepared remarks do not reveal new information about how data was shared or what Facebook will do.

"I just met one-on-one with Zuckerberg and in no uncertain terms reminded him that Facebook has a responsibility to its users to protect our personal data". He is set to testify before Congress next week.

Top of the agenda in the forthcoming hearings will be Facebook's admission that the personal information of up to 87 million users, mostly in the United States, may have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Zuckerberg will testify before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees on Tuesday and before the House panel on Wednesday.

Facebook has pushed out a flurry of announcements over the past week about how it's planning to mop up the Cambridge Analytica data-scraping scandal, and it's clear from Zuckerberg's testimony that the announcements were meant to prime the pump, letting the embattled CEO claim that his company is indeed taking action. The social network has faced serious scrutiny following the 2016 USA presidential election, in which Russian operatives used the platform to peddle fake news and disinformation.

"Its clear now that we didnt do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well".

San Francisco: Battered by media reports that it secretly deleted CEO Mark Zuckerberg's posts from his recipients' inboxes, Facebook is now planning to make its Unsend feature available to its over two billion users in coming months.

Facebook Message Leak
Image Wired

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves the office of Sen.

If your data was swept up by Cambridge Analytica, you'll get a message saying that "We have banned the website 'This Is Your Digital Life, ' which one of your friends used Facebook to log into".

Last week, Facebook backed proposed legislation known as the "Honest Ads Act", which would require social network sites to disclose the identities of political ad campaign buyers, as well as implement a verification process for people purchasing so-called "issue" ads, which could exploit divisive subjects such as gun laws or racism.

Facebook was also forced to apologize after civil society groups in Myanmar criticized Zuckerberg's explanation in a recent interview of how the company handled hate speech in the country. "Savannah, I'm not going to sit here and say that we're not going to find more because we are". Angus King (I-Maine) told lawyers for Facebook, Twitter and Google that he was "disappointed that you're here and not your CEOs because we're talking about policies and policies of the companies".

Cambridge Analytica said in a statement last Wednesday that it had data for only 30 million Facebook users.

"The bottom line here is: if Facebook cant fix its privacy problems, then how can Americans trust them to be caretakers of their sensitive information?" he asked.

Facebook has about 15,000 people working on security and content review, rising to more than 20,000 by the end of 2018, Zuckerberg's testimony said.

He will also likely face questions about ads and posts placed by Russian operatives, in what US authorities believe was an attempt to influence the USA 2016 election. If Facebook does not know, then why not?

  • Valerie Cook