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Facebook faces U.S. privacy investigation

16 April 2018

"Congresswoman, I don't remember if we had a financial penalty", Zuckerberg said under questioning by Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette. Inexplicably, Zuckerberg tried to say he wasn't completely sure about Facebook's data collection policies, and one of his underlings could follow up later. (I couldn't figure out how to do the latter, and I write about technology for a living.) Zuckerberg says he's giving users control, but he's giving them the illusion of control. The incident wiped off billions from Zuckerberg's wealth while Facebook's stock prices slumped in a week.

That its legal domicile is in the U.S. but that it acts as a global company has brought problems for Facebook not just in the area of data protection, but also in the area of tax.

"There's just so much stuff out there now", she said.

Instead, his and his staff's recent conversations with Facebook employees have been business as usual - little more than routine discussions about "pulling data" to better target ads, he said.

"This kind of data collection is fundamental to how the internet works", Facebook said in a statement to Reuters. However, that creates a different ethical problem, because poorer people would not be able to afford to keep their data private and still use Facebook. Mr Cole said the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect in May, will solve some of the problems the Facebook situation revealed.

But I digressed ... mostly because I shuddered at the thought of what story the Brothers Grimm would have written featuring a stepmother-in-law. For instance, if Facebook shows you ads based on what ecommerce sites you visited, friends feeds based on your comments, and news based on your political leanings gleaned from your posts, you are more likely to stick around and more likely to click on Facebook ads. In an effort to make amends the company is contacting the 87 million users whose data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica, the outfit that has come under fire over the way its business operates and the ways in which it has used data to manipulate voters in elections around the world.

It appears like a genuinely outlined component in administration of Facebooks' objective of interfacing individuals.

European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli, for example, has suggested Facebook views its users as "experimental rats".

According to Facebook, this program will reward those with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers user data to another party to be sold, stolen, or used for scams or political influence. One economist estimates the value could be as much as $1,000 a year for the average social media user. Why should Facebook remember the people I've cut off from my life? We should reflect upon the many viruses created just to harm Microsoft and other software; operating systems are always being hijacked by those whose only goal remains destruction and exploitation. It's apparent Facebook's culture is one that doesn't trust its own value statements and suffers from low morale. McNamee saw this in 2016 with both the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the American Presidential election and concluded that Facebook does, indeed, give "asymmetric advantage" to negative messages.

To Zuckerberg's credit, several times during his testimony he expressed an openness to government regulation and sees that regulation has a place in capitalism. This merchandise, which we have all entrusted to Facebook, once broken, is not easily fixed. In the end, despite Zuckerberg's protests, Facebook feels like it pretty much has the monopoly. Zuckerberg answered with "Senator, there has not".

What that translates to is every conservative outlet in the country has to get through a liberal newsroom before it gets to Facebook users.

Facebook faces U.S. privacy investigation