Does Facebook Track Your Activities Even After You Log Out? Zuckerberg Doesn't Know
While Zuckerberg was able to answer most of the questions from the US Senate, some question left him totally clueless at the hearing.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing the US Senate on the Facebook data breach through Cambridge Analytica. (Image: Reuters)
Facing the heat from the US Senate for the role of Facebook in the recently surfaced Cambridge Analytica data breach, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was bombarded with questions from 44 senators inquiring into the workings and policies of Facebook. One such question that surprisingly found Zuckerberg dumbfounded was if the social media website collected its users' data even when the users logged out of Facebook.
During the Congressional inquisition, US Senator Wicker asked Zuckerberg "There have been reports that Facebook can track user's browsing activity even after the user has logged off the Facebook platform. Can you confirm whether or not this is true?"
Zuckerberg was apparently taken aback with the question and reverted with the following answer: "Senator, I want to make sure that I get this accurate, so it'll probably be better to have my team follow up with you on this."
Even Senator Wicker was surprised with Zuckerberg's lack of awareness on the topic and immediately replied with "You don't know this?"
Senator further asked Zuckerberg a follow-up question: "Would you also let us know how Facebook discloses to its users how engaging in this type of tracking gives a better result?"
With this, the four minutes allotted to the Senator were over and the question baton was then passed on to the next Senator.
No matter what Zuckerberg proves to the Senate after the inquisition through his team, it is kind of hard to believe that Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who started Facebook and is responsible for its working, does not know what can be considered as a highly-intrusive level of tracking performed by his platform. In a way, Zuckerberg has also answered this question with a yes but did not want to elaborate upon it.
On the flip side, however, it is perfectly alright for a person to abstain from answering a question in a Senate questioning as everything that a person states in a hearing like this can be held against him or her in a court of law. So it is a common practice to abstain from answering questions in such hearings, the correct answer of which may not be known to the witness.
The Congressional inquisition is still going on at the time of writing. You can follow up the live updates from the Zuckerberg's inquisition by the US Senate here.
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