Cambridge Analytica got Mark Zuckerberg's data

  • 12/04/2018

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has told lawmakers that his own personal data was included in that of about 87 million Facebook users that was improperly shared with political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

But he pushed back on Congress members' suggestions that users do not have enough control of their data on Facebook in the wake of the privacy scandal at the world's largest social media network.

"Every time that someone chooses to share something on Facebook... there is a control. Right there. Not buried in the settings somewhere but right there," the 33-year-old said.

Mr Zuckerberg repeatedly defended the company's privacy practices, saying that users have control over their own data and decide what to share. But when asked if his data had been improperly used he replied: "Yes." He gave no further details.

Once again wearing a dark suit instead of his usual grey T-shirt, the hearing was Mr Zuckerberg's second in two days. On Tuesday, he took questions for nearly five hours in a US Senate hearing without making any further promises to support new legislation or change how the social network does business, foiling attempts by senators to pin him down.

Facebook has been consumed by turmoil for nearly a month, since it came to light that millions of users' personal information was wrongly harvested from the website by Cambridge Analytica, a firm that has counted US President Donald Trump's election campaign among its clients.

Mr Zuckerberg faced broad concerns from members of Congress about how Facebook shares user data.

"How can consumers have control over their data when Facebook does not have control over the data?" asked Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey.

Lawmakers have sought assurances that Facebook can effectively police itself, and few came away from Tuesday's hearing expressing confidence in the social network.

"I don't want to vote to have to regulate Facebook, but by God, I will," Republican Senator John Kennedy told Mr Zuckerberg on Tuesday. "A lot of that depends on you."

Mr Zuckerberg deflected requests to support specific legislation. Pressed repeatedly by Democratic Senator Ed Markey to endorse a proposed law that would require companies to get people's permission before sharing personal information, Mr Zuckerberg agreed to further talks.

"In principle, I think that makes sense, and the details matter, and I look forward to having our team work with you on fleshing that out," Mr Zuckerberg said.

Reuters

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