Even Mark Zuckerberg's personal data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica

Gmail for Web is Getting a New Design, Plus Snooze and Smart Reply

Mark Zuckerberg's congressional testimony could have a big effect on the tech leaders of tomorrow. He was confident. He capably tackled numerous queries proposed last week by Bloomberg columnists. And Facebook's mostly hands-off policy toward its users' postings has long made it a wide-open venue for all sorts of malice and misinformation. But it's a loss for the rest of us.

That disclosure pitched Facebook into a crisis of confidence among users, advertisers, employees and investors who were already struggling with Facebook's reaction to fake news and its role in the 2016 election.

Zuckerberg promised to do better, but still, the answer to that question didn't come clear in Tuesday's hearing. The first was with Senator Roy Blunt, the Republican from Missouri. As Senator Richard Blumenthal pointed out to Zuckerberg, the app that Aleksandr Kogan used to harvest Facebook user data and then sell it to Cambridge Analytica had a privacy policy that enabled users to authorize him to do exactly that, despite that fact that it violated Facebook's own policy.

"Not because of this", Zuckerberg answered.

Senator Graham pushed him to state whether or not he believes Facebook has a direct competitor in the same way vehicle companies have many direct competitors, which allow consumers to easily switch from one brand to another.

"Oil you can actually see, data you cannot", Bhatt said.

Controlling hate speech in social media has been a major concern of Jewish groups in recent years, chief among them the Anti-Defamation League, which has lobbied Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to build defenses against its proliferation.

There's nothing new, either, about Zuckerberg apologizing for Facebook's spread of what once would be considered private data.

Lujan: Facebook has detailed profiles on people who have never signed up for Facebook, yes or no?




And Facebook really should do a better job of helping its users protect their privacy.

"We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward", Zuckerberg said in March.

Separately, Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post Monday that the company is establishing an independent election research commission that will look into the effects of social media on elections and democracy.

Technically, Facebook's users can turn off targeted advertisements or disable sensitive features such as image recognition in photos.

It made people think about just how lucky some of them are. And that means the consent of Facebook users is not informed.

At least one senator, Democrat Ron Wyden of OR, suggested breaking up Facebook.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the social network in some cases collects digital information on consumers who aren't registered as users.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially ran the congressional gauntlet on Tuesday during a joint committee hearing in which almost half the Senate grilled the social media executive about his platform's ability to protect Americans' personal data and ferret out foreign meddling in USA elections. And regardless, there is no way Zuckerberg can agree to this.

And Facebook needs to stop shadowy foreign agents from secretly buying rabble-rousing ads on the service - ads that could stir up social chaos in the United States and around the world.

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