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Facebook wants to play God but users are losing faith

12 Abril 2018, 09:41 | Martinez Canez

Alex Wong Getty Images

Zuckerberg right waits by the front desk for a meeting with Sen. Bill Nelson ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation

It will look for misuses of personal information and then alert users if it finds anything suspicious. And although Facebook had vehemently denied any legal wrongdoing-the customer data, it says, was made readily available to third-party developers, and the onus is on those developers to use it appropriately-Zuckerberg now acknowledges that more should have been done to safeguard users' private information to begin with. Maybe it's a good thing I never posted my opinion of Colson Whitehead's bestselling novel, "The Underground Railroad", which I thought was wildly overpraised and borderline incoherent.

I'm sticking with the tech theme for my column this week. Why? They peppered him with questions about an array of Facebook's lengthy privacy policy and data, but didn't always seem to know how to follow up Zuckerberg's talk of algorithms and AI systems. You can check if you were affected by clicking this link.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will face a second day of questioning about how his company handles user data and privacy on Wednesday in a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

And all of that preceded the recent round of explanations and promises after questions arose about its role in the 2016 election and after initial details emerged regarding Cambridge Analytica's harvesting of user data.

Lawmakers have sought assurances that Facebook can effectively police itself, and few came away from Tuesday's hearing expressing confidence in the social network.

Chances are someone you have corresponded with - by email or mobile phone - has let Facebook's data spiders crawl through their correspondence, thereby allowing your contact data to be assimilated entirely without your knowledge or consent.

"America deserves a privacy bill of rights that puts consumers, not corporations, in control of their personal, sensitive information", said Markey. And it continued ticking up a fraction in after-hours trading as he continued to testify.

Mark Zuckerberg maintained a matter-of-fact demeanour even as some members openly questioned his sincerity and honesty.

The Facebook CEO has said before that his industry probably needs to be regulated. Pressed repeatedly by Democratic Senator Ed Markey to endorse a proposed law that would require companies to get people's permission before sharing personal information, Zuckerberg agreed to further talks.

"Break up FB?" said a bullet item in the written talking points. If so, Facebook could be subject to hefty fines. A notification that appeared on Facebook for some users Tuesday told them that "one of your friends" used Facebook to log into a now-banned personality quiz app called "This Is Your Digital Life". And all of a sudden I start receiving advertisements for chocolate. But she praised his apology for being full of genuine feeling, and noted the gravity he brought to the proceedings, such as dressing in a serious suit in lieu of his usual athleisure attire. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday if Facebook was a monopoly, Zuckerberg quipped, "certainly doesn't feel like that to me".

A hallmark of real intelligence, F. Scott Fitzgerald observed, is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in your head at the same time.

Yes, there were questions about what the company should change or what it should have reported earlier. Facebook's technology doesn't need Zuck to post "I'm in Washington D.C." to know that he's in Washington, D.C. Similarly, Facebook doesn't need you to say "I've got a crush on so-and-so".

Facebook may be big, but it's not too big to fail.



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