USA tech firms are going through a moment of reckoning in the wake of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's grilling by United States lawmakers on the social network's privacy and data practices, according to industry experts.
When Facebook was alerted in 2015 that 87 million profiles were collected by Cambridge Analytica, a data consulting firm, those users were not notified and the process of notifying these users is still underway.
To eradicate further leaks, the social media giant last week tweaked its algorithm and made some drastic changes to validate authenticity. They said it was irresponsible to encourage children to use a Facebook product. Zuckerberg said there's nothing stopping anyone from giving their personal info to another social media platform.
Testifying before Congress, Zuckerberg, speaking more like a 7-year-old who accidentally spray painted the family pet dog and not like a 33-year-old billionaire tech founder, said, "My mistake" and "I'm sorry" and "We need to do better".
"There have been reports that Facebook can track a user's internet browsing activity even after that user has logged off of the Facebook platform", Sen. The Facebook CEO knows what his company does, but perhaps he couldn't acknowledge that his companies relies on assembling detailed dossiers on billions of people. "I think it's those kinds of manipulation of policy messages or political messages that potentially undermined the civil discourse and the kind of nation that we started out as".
"If you don't want any data to be collected around advertising, you can turn that off and we won't do it", Zuckerberg said.
MIT Technology Review reports Cambridge Analytica, whose parent company entered into a contract with Kogan's company, later "combined the Facebook data with other data sets to build robust, integrated profiles of 30 million USA voters".
Facebook will keep failing users' trust as long as its business is based on unrestrained hoovering of as much user data as possible, and crafting ever-more innovative ways for advertisers to harness that information for commercial goals. If I go to the Toys R Us site or Babies R Us site looking for little tykes outdoor swing sets, I go back on fb. ads come up on my page and many other things I have searched.
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"Senator, I want to make sure I get this accurate so it would probably be better to have my team follow up afterwards", Zuckerberg said.
Prodded by the Cambridge scandal, the FTC is now investigating whether Facebook violated their agreement.
Some in the industry believe the developments at Facebook will lead to new regulation.
"If I'm not a Facebook user, I ought to have a right to know what data Facebook has about me", Froomkin said.
We have a responsibility to protect your information.
"Because right now, we are only a couple of years past when Cambridge Analytica created those models, the profiles and models they have are likely useful for the next, in my rough estimation and experience, three to five years", he said. This delineates the companies that have access to your information for advertisement purposes.
Rodgers said other sites like Twitter and LinkedIn don't use "that sort of deep, personal data", while they focus more on what's happening on their platforms with keyword searches and hashtags. It calculated the maximum number of friends that users could have had while the personality quiz app built by Cambridge Analytica was collecting data. If everything on Facebook only functioned with an informed "opt in" from users, the company's business doesn't work.