Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg appeared before USA lawmakers Tuesday to apologize for how his company has handled the growing furor over online privacy, to promise change, and explain the social media giant's policies.
Cambridge was far from the only hot topic at the hearing, which stretched on for hours as 44 senators from two committees took turns grilling the Facebook leader. Even so, the company's shares are still trading more than 10 per cent lower than they were just before the Cambridge Analytica story broke in March.
"It was my mistake, and I'm sorry", he said, appearing to get momentarily emotional. Cambridge Analytica claims they have already deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to investigate this.
The hearing on Capitol Hill was at times tense, and at times muddled, as senators attempted to ask intelligent questions about social media that some did not seem entirely familiar with.
Still, senators like Bill Nelson (D-FL) wanted to know why Facebook did not notify its users that their information had been compromised.
The crux of the matter: Prior to changes made by Facebook in 2014, any app connected to the social network could gather up data not only from your public profile, but that of your friends.
But he said he tries to make sure Facebook does not have any bias in the work that it does. "The issue is that we designed the system in a way that wasn't good".
On April 5, the social media giant, however, revealed that the data of as many as 87 million users was improperly shared with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, far greater than the 50 million previously estimated.
While on the site, Facebook also offers an option for users to review and update the information that they share with apps and websites.
Below are some of Zuckerberg's quotes during, as well as some of his exchanges with senator.
"We believe we are in compliance with that consent order", he said. "Yes or no. Does Facebook use audio obtained from mobile devices to enrich personal information about it's users?"
In the days leading up to the hearings, Facebook released a torrent of product and policy updates to address concerns about data privacy and election meddling.
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Mr Zuckerberg frequently admitted to making mistakes, including not informing users as soon as they knew about the data breach. It also noted some of the high-profile companies that have deleted Facebook, including Mozilla, Tesla, and WhatsUp.
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