UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday apologized to the Senate for scandals that shake up the social network, leaving questions unanswered and answering questions from US lawmakers on Wednesday.
During his first appearance, which was eagerly awaited, Zuckerberg faced five questions over the past five hours about the administration’s mismanagement of his platform and the issue of personal data protection and political manipulation.
Zuckerberg, who wore a dark suit and a blue tie, offered his personal apology because he did not quickly realize how much Facebook could be manipulated. “That’s my fault, and I’m sorry about that,” he said.
“We need time to make all the necessary changes” to reduce the misuse of the network and the number of actions taken will be taken to correct the course.
– “Arms race” –
The 33-year-old American billionaire responded in detail to the majority of questions but appeared on several occasions to be impatient with parliamentarians, some of whom were not familiar with technological bets in the debate.
He said his network was “safe” despite all the rigged issues of manipulating and converting personal user data, as happened with the Cambridge Analytic scandal. He pointed out how difficult it is to combat political manipulation, speaking of a “race to armament” to confront “people in Russia whose mission is to exploit our systems.”
He said his group was “working” with Attorney General Robert Mueller, who said the Internet, particularly Facebook, had formed the platform for a massive publicity campaign from Russia during the 2016 US presidential campaign won by Donald Trump.
“I deeply regret our slow monitoring of foreign interference through the election campaign,” Zuckerberg said.
– No answers –
He also hinted that he did not oppose the “organization” of the Internet groups’ work, as several parliamentarians had suggested during the session, “if it was good.” He also stressed that the social networking network, which has more than two billion users, is not a “monopoly” without being able to mention any competitor to Facebook.
But many parliamentarians expressed doubts about Zuckerberg’s response, saying “I do not know” before many senators and journalists.
“During this hearing, I asked you questions about fundamental issues, but you did not answer them,” Senatora Kamala Harris said.
Zuckerberg has had a hard time, especially in explaining that Facebook should not suspend the work of Cambridge Analytica from 2015 and not inform the regulator and users that their data has been diverted for another purpose.
“We had to make a mistake,” Zuckerberg said, adding that he was convinced at the time that the case had been closed when the company confirmed it had omitted the data. “We should not have been satisfied with their answer,” he acknowledged.
Zackerberg was forced several times to explain how his group treated data shared by users across the network. “We do not sell data to advertising companies,” he said, adding that he was allowed to target users precisely because of data owned by Facebook.
“This allows messages to be” more effective “and that is the core of Facebook’s economic system, Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg’s appearance comes before the two Houses of Congress amid a storm over the theft of data from millions of users on the site by British company Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Zuckerberg has offered many apologies since the scandal was revealed in mid-March, which had a great impact on the group’s image and led to a drop in its stock.
But Facebook rose Tuesday by 4.50 percent.