The Guardian view on Facebook: time to tame the surveillance economy

Mark Zuckerberg’s Ex Speechwriter Is Calling BS On His Claims Of Ignorance

Tuesday's hearing, and another planned for Wednesday, are all about the fallout from revelations that political ad targeting firm Cambridge Analytica acquired user data from an estimated 87 million people whose Facebook profiles were scraped and improperly shared from a psychology app developer.

"I think a lot of Americans are waking up to the fact that Facebook is becoming sort of a self-regulated superstructure for political discourse", said Rep. John Sarbanes (D, Maryland).

It is less than two years since one of his closest lieutenants, Andrew Bosworth, wrote in an internal memo: "The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply than anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good ... that's why all the work we do in growth is justified".

Zuckerberg: Anyone can turn off and opt out of any data collection for ads, whether they use our services or not, but in order to prevent people from scraping public information... we need to know when someone is repeatedly trying to access our services.

The other big change that Facebook will implement relates to the search feature.

Other security measures include researchers only being able to access Facebook's data in a locked room without internet access, or using encrypted laptops only programmed to help with research.

Now that you know the status of your data, what you decide to do with your account is up to you.

Aimed at giving people more control over the data that is collected, stored, and used about them, the EU's General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect in May and will apply to any business, in any location, that handles personal information about European Union citizens.

He talked of a whole programme at the university, where a number of researchers were building similar apps to that made by Dr Kogan for Cambridge Analytica.

An estimated one in 50 Australian Facebook users are thought to have their data leaked.

Some legislators are now also wondering if Facebook's third-party app data policies violate a 2011 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission. "And I'm sorry", Zuckerberg said Tuesday during his testimony before the Senate's Commerce and Judiciary committees. While not all respondents were Facebook users, a whopping 17% of respondents reported having removed the Facebook app from their smartphones, and 9% had deleted their accounts altogether. "If you are not selling our personal information, why are you spending a million dollars to oppose us", the initiative asked rhetorically. "We're thrilled that Facebook has decided not to contribute any addition money to the opposition", Ross said.

Politicians in the U.S. and United Kingdom are weighing up the possibility of legislation to regulate large technology companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter which are accused of failing to regulate themselves.

The interviewer asked if Facebook would ever sell people's personal information, and Zuckerberg responded firmly in the negative.

Congressman, I'm not, I'm not familiar with that.

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