Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a Senate joint committee of both Judiciary and Commerce, Science, and Transportation on “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.” The hearing will take place at the Hart Senate Office Building 216. The investigation, that could be pivotal for his massive company, is based on the accusations placed on the social media firm for misusing the data collected from its users in order to influence the US presidential elections which elected President Donald Trump. The missing link between the data collected by Facebook and the ad-based campaign specifically targeting the US citizens at the time of US presidential elections has been found to be Cambridge Analytica, a British data analytics firm.
So, what will exactly happen?
A total of 44 senator have been allotted 4 minutes each to ask questions and get answers. The senators are expected to ask questions on how Facebook handles user data and how Cambridge Analytica was able to influence Facebook users. Zuckerberg will also face the heat over allegations that Facebook couldn’t identify how “Russia-linked” accounts were propagating crucial political messages on the social media platform.
Zuckerberg has already accepted the “breach of trust” and said that he needs to “fix that”. He has even apologised for the same. “I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform,” he said soon after the Cambridge Analytica controversy. While Zuckerberg has promised to “work through this and build a better service” he claims that “the most important actions to prevent” a repeat of this have been already taken.
So, what are the step announced by Mark Zuckerberg?
- Facebook will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before it changed the platform in 2014 to reduce data access. The company will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. If Facebook find developers that misused personally identifiable information, it will ban them from the platform.
-It will tell people affected by apps that have misused their data. This includes building a way for people to know if their data might have been accessed via “thisisyourdigitallife.” Moving forward, if Facebook removes an app for misusing data, it will tell everyone who used it.
-If someone hasn’t used an app within the last three months, Facebook will turn off the app’s access to their information.
-Facebook is changing Login, so that in the next version, it will reduce the data that an app can request without app review to include only name, profile photo and email address. Requesting any other data will require Facebook’s approval.
-Facebook already shows people what apps their accounts are connected to and control what data they’ve permitted those apps to use. Going forward, it is going to make these choices more prominent and easier to manage.
-Zuckerberg said that he will expand Facebook’s bug bounty program so that people can also report to us if they find misuses of data by app developers.