Mark Zuckerberg was grilled this week. Silicon Valley took it personally

These days, the Lewiston High School grad is working for a small, nonprofit company called The Center for Humane Technology, which focuses on privacy issues and the idea that many social media platforms and other online services are created to be addicting. It's not clear what that regulation would look like.

In this morning's hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, New Mexico Representative Ben Lujan cornered Mark Zuckerberg with a question about so-called "shadow profiles" - the term often used to refer to the data that Facebook collects on non-users and other hidden data that Facebook holds but does not offer openly on the site for users to see.

Patience with the social network had already worn thin among users, advertisers and investors after the company said last year that Russian Federation used Facebook for years to try to sway USA politics, an allegation Moscow denies. Zuckerberg on Wednesday emphasized the large number of ads that are reviewed daily by the Facebook team, saying, "I wouldn't extrapolate from a few examples to assume that the overall system is biased".

Facebook is working to fix its broken reputation following the ongoing investigation related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Throughout these hearings, Zuckerberg admitted that "for security purposes", Facebook even collects data from some people who do not have accounts with the platform.

Seemingly unimpressed, Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota said Zuckerberg's company had a 14-year history of apologising for "ill-advised decisions" related to user privacy. FaceMash was a prank website that I launched in college, in my dorm room, before I started Facebook. This revelation sparked big changes in the way Facebook handles third-party apps, including the launch of a new data abuse bounty, but it's better to be proactive on your end.

"We have already a "download your information" tool that allows people to see and to take out all of the information that Facebook - that they've put into Facebook or that Facebook knows about them".

"It was my mistake, and I'm sorry", Zuckerberg said in his written testimony released by the US Congress. They can add their ad preferences. So you don't know where your Facebook data really is. For all the talk about people "connecting" and "building communities", Facebook has us doing these things by choice, curated by individual taste. Until it was caught, the massive social media company seemed entirely indifferent to changing its ways.

Many of your users, including me, are pretty creeped out by what we've learned. "Right there. Not buried in the settings somewhere but right there", Zuckerberg said.

"Every time someone chooses to share, they choose who they want to share it with", said Zuckerberg.

Fraser said if he were a politician, he could ascertain who would be unlikely to vote for him by campaigning door-to-door.

The country also had more than 1 million Facebook users whose data may have been accessed by Cambridge Analytica.

Addressing these privacy concerns, Senator Dick Durbin asked Zuckerberg if he would be comfortable sharing the name of the hotel where he was staying. Meanwhile, amid fierce competition in Silicon Valley, the company is said to be closely monitoring morale at the company, though The Journal also reports that many employees appear to be mostly undaunted by the scandal.

  • Joey Payne