Facing his second congressional hearing in Washington this afternoon (April 11), CEO Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers that he was among the 87 million Facebook users whose data ended up in the clutches of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Despite that rather amusing revelation, Zuckerberg remains adamant that Facebook’s data and the property of users who choose to interact with the social media network are secure.
“Every time that someone chooses to share something on Facebook … there is a control. Right there. Not buried in the settings somewhere but right there,” the 33-year-old internet billionaire told the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.
Still, the fact that one of the world’s most technologically adept and knowledgable people was not able to keep his own information out of the wrong hands made lawmakers strongly question what hope the rest of us really had with the tools provided by Facebook.
“How can consumers have control over their data when Facebook does not have control over the data?” asked Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, at the beginning of the hearing.
This tone was echoed throughout the nearly five-hour inquest Zuckerberg sat for with Senate members yesterday during a joint session of the Judiciary and Commerce committees. So far, the CEO’s trips to Washington seem to have quelled Wall Street worries, as stock prices edged up while he spoke yesterday. Zuckerberg did concede that Facebook is enthusiastic to comply with and help establish new regulations — though he wants to be sure they’re the “right” ones.
“It is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation” of internet firms, Zuckerberg said on Wednesday, but he steered away from any specifics.
However, that topic is being explored today, especially since Zuckerberg noted his own personal data had been “misused” (he declined to say more).
“I can’t let you filibuster right now,” Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn said at one point, noting she had only four minutes in which to ask a series of tough questions.