Sci-tech

Here's how to watch Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress this week

Here's how to watch Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress this week

GBH said it had conducted surveys that estimated almost 15 per cent of Facebook users had curtailed their activity on the platform in recent weeks because of the data privacy concerns.

- could be abused and manipulated.

The 33-year-old is to testify before senators on Tuesday and House lawmakers on Wednesday, amid a firestorm over the hijacking of data of millions of Facebook users by the British firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked with Donald Trump's campaign.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is set to make two much-anticipated Capitol Hill appearances this week to answer politicians' questions about data handling controversies, privacy concerns and 2016 election meddling. In a Facebook post Monday, Zuckerberg said he hopes the research commission will "draw unbiased conclusions about Facebook's role in elections" and hold the company accountable. "I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here".

Facebook is presenting itself to lawmakers as an idealistic company that was too naive to anticipate how bad actors might exploit its platform, echoing remarks Zuckerberg made last week.

The statement comes as Zuckerberg prepares to face tough questions in the US Congress tomorrow over how Facebook was potentially used to spread fake news around the privacy breach and whether it was used to sway the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook claimed it has made real progress since Brexit and the 2016 USA presidential election in fighting fake news, as well as combating foreign interference, in elections in France, Germany, Alabama and Italy.

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Online information warfare Zuckerberg said in his testimony that Facebook's major investments in security "will significantly impact our profitability going forward". In the beginning, it was reported the political consultancy firm had come in possession of data from 50 million Facebook accounts.

"We're starting this in the USA and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months", Zuckerberg said. "We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages". After meeting with Zuckerberg on Monday, Senator Bill Nelson told reporters that Zuckerberg appears to be taking the matter seriously.

"This is like spraying five gallons of water on a growing forest fire", says Daniel Ives, an analyst who tracks Facebook for GBH Insights. 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?" In case a user's profile was obtained by Cambridge Analytica, the notification will tell him/her how Facebook has banned a site called "This Is Your Digital Life", as it shared the user's data without his/her consent with Cambridge Analytica.

Embroiled in a massive data breach following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook had said data on about 87 million people - mostly in the United States - may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

Also suspended was US-based data analysis firm Cubeyou, following reports it had harvested user data from psychological testing apps for commercial purposes.

On Monday, Facebook also announced it's launching a new initiative to help academics better understand the impact that Facebook has on elections.

Facebook has about 15,000 people working on security and content review, rising to more than 20,000 by the end of 2018, Zuckerberg's testimony said.


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