School newspaper of Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa

Zuckerberg Testifies in Front of Congress

April 23, 2018

Facebook+was+founded+in+2004+by+Mark+Zuckerberg+and+his+college+roommates.++Photo+Credit%3A+Juliana+Ferrie%2FACHONAOnline
Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates.  Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/ACHONAOnline

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates. Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/ACHONAOnline

Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/Achona Online

Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/Achona Online

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates. Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/ACHONAOnline

On April 10, 2018, Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, began his two-day testimony in front of the Senate in response to the recent privacy scandals surrounding the company. Issues concerning Facebook’s privacy policy first arose in March when it was discovered that Cambridge Analytica, a British data-mining firm, had collected personal information from Facebook users without their knowledge. The firm is said to be connected to President Donald Trump. In addition, Facebook is also being evaluated after Russian propaganda was spread across the social media platform in order to manipulate the 2016 election.

Meredith Hemmings (‘19) said, “The Facebook scandal is pretty scary because you never know when your private data is being accessed. I hope that justice is served, and that something is done to ensure user privacy.”

During the first day of his testimony, Zuckerberg answered the questions of Congress for five hours. The hearing was characterized by questions that were easy for Zuckerberg to answer due to their focus on how Facebook works. Zuckerberg was asked about things such as Facebook’s terms, how ads are chosen for users, and what information is collected by Facebook. Through this line of questioning, Zuckerberg articulated exactly how Facebook works in front of Congress.

The second day of Zuckerberg’s testimony entailed questions that were harder for Zuckerberg to answer. Members of Congress asked Zuckerberg about how Facebook would be affected by the recent events and how the platform would change. Zuckerberg did not commit to changing Facebook to reduce the collection of private data for all users. In addition, Zuckerberg stated that his own data was collected by Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg accepted the fact that future regulation will be put in place in order to protect users and set guidelines for social media platforms.

Caitlin Otte (‘21) said, “I think that private information is meant to be private. If I wanted my information to be public, I would make it public. It is not Facebook’s right to share my personal information with other companies whenever they want to.”

 

While giving his testimony, Zuckerberg was asked about previous court cases his company had been involved in. Zuckerberg was unable to provide Congress with details about specific cases, which concerned members since he is the CEO of Facebook.

Claire Rogan (‘20) said, “I feel like as the CEO of the company, Zuckerberg should have known a lot more about the previous lawsuits filed against Facebook.”

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