nsucurrent.com April 24, 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg aims to pacify US lawmakers

10 April 2018, 07:32 | Shelley Chandler

100 Mark Zuckerberg cutouts take over Capitol lawn

Army of Fake Mark Zuckerbergs Descends Upon Washington DC for Facebook Founder's Testimony

The crisis stems from revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm connected to President Donald Trump's successful 2016 campaign, had exploited weaknesses in Facebook's privacy controls to collect personal information about 87 million people without their consent.

Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room in 2004, is fighting to demonstrate to critics that he is the right person to go on leading what has grown into one of the world's largest companies.

His conciliatory tone precedes two days of congressional hearings where Zuckerberg is set to answer questions about Facebook user data being improperly appropriated by a political consultancy and the role the network played in the USA 2016 election.

The 87 million users who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica were supposed to get a detailed message on their news feeds starting on Monday. The Facebook CEO will then testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

Zuckerberg faced growing calls to appear before the US government in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal, in which the personal information of an estimated 87 million users was allegedly exploited for targeted political profiling by a UK-based company claiming to have the power to influence elections.

Zuckerberg will testify that Facebook is building new technology to prevent states from interfering in foreign elections, is developing artificial intelligence tools to remove fake accounts, and will hire more people to work on security and content review.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook says the social media giant was "too slow to spot Russian interference" and the company is working hard to make sure a breach like this doesn't happen again. Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Commerce Committee, as a cluster of reporters waited outside.

Last month, it was disclosed that the group obtained data on millions of Facebook users without their knowledge.

"There are going to be people who are going to say Facebook ought to be broken up", Sen.

On Monday, Zuckerberg's prepared testimony for Wednesday's hearing was released. "It was my mistake, and I'm sorry".

On Saturday, Facebook said it suspended AggregateIQ, a Canadian political consulting firm, amid media reports it had ties to Cambridge Analytica.

To ease the way, Zuckerberg on Monday met some lawmakers privately, listening to their concerns before they will have a chance to interrogate him in public. The bottom line here is: "if Facebook can't fix its privacy problems, then how can Americans trust them to be caretakers of their sensitive information?" Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the US, though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the United Kingdom.

Marks Zuckerberg has admitted Facebook failed to protect user data and prevent manipulation of its platform.

Facebook has been in troubled waters ever since the Cambridge Analytica's data breach has been reported.

"And when we address these challenges, I know well look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force in the world", Zuckerberg said.

The controversy represents "the darkest chapter in Facebook's 14-year history", GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a research note.

In the testimony, Zuckerberg acknowledges that the questioning will likely be critical.

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