Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony Before U.S. Congress: Day 2

Day 2 Hearing Starts

Watch the hearing live here.

Investors Like What They Are Seeing

Facebook’s stock opened lower but rebound soon as chief Zuckerberg continued his testimony on the second day.

Internal FB Audit May Take "Many Months" To Complete

The internal investigation started by Facebook to look in the data breach “is expected to take many months”, Zuckerberg said in his response to Illinois Senator Jan Schakowsky's question.

Zuckerberg said that “a handful” of firms were sold data by Alexander Kogan, the researcher who is at the heart of the data breach. He added that they'll reveal the names in a written follow-up. “We need to examine their systems and confirm if all the data has been deleted,” the Facebook chief said. He had named Eunoia as one of them in his testimony yesterday.

Before beginning her questions, Schakowsky read a list of Zuckerberg's earlier apologies saying that “This is proof to me that self-regulation simply does not work”. She ended with an answered question: “Who will protect us from Facebook?”

'We Remove Terrorist Content But That's Not Censorship'

Zuckerberg said that Facebook removing terrorist and hateful content cannot be considered as censorship.

Here's his exchange with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn:

Who owns the ‘virtual you’? Who owns your presence online? Is it you or is them?

I believe everyone owns their own content online.

Do you subjectively change your algorithms to prioritise or censor speech?

We don’t think of it as censorship. We remove terrorist content.

Facebook Knew About Cambridge Analytica Since 2015

Mark Zuckerberg said that the social media giant knew that Cambridge Analytica was collecting user data for “targetted psychographic political work”. In the answers to California Senator Anna Eshoo's grilling questions, Zuckerberg also said that his own data was compromised too.

Here's a transcript of the dialogue between the two.

Do you think you have a moral responsibility to run a platform that protects our democracy?


Have users of FB caught up in the Cambridge Analytica debacle been notified?

Yes, we’re starting notify people. We started Monday I believe.

Will FB offer to all of its users a blanket opt-in to share their privacy data with any third party users?

Yes, that’s how our platform works.

Let me add that it is a minefield to do that. You have to make it transparent, clear, in pedestrian language just once that - ‘this is what we’ll do with your data. Do you want this to happen or not?’ I think this has been blurred and I think you know what I mean by it. Are you aware of other third-party information mishandlings that’ve not been disclosed?

No. Although we are currently going through a process of investigating every single app that had access to a large amount of data.

What does that mean?

It means that we’re going to look into every app which had a large amount of data before we lock down the platform.

Was your personal data included in the data sold to the malicious parties?


Are you willing to change your business model in the interests of protecting individual privacy?

We have made and are continuing to make changes to reduce the amount...

Are you willing to change your business model in the interest of protecting individual privacy?

I am not sure what that means

I’ll follow up with you on it. When did FB learn that CA’s research project was actually for targetted psychographic political work? And when you learnt it, did you contact their CEO immediately? And if not, then why not?

Yes, when we learnt in 2015 that a Cambridge university researcher associated with the academic institution that built an app...

So you learnt about it in 2015?


And you spoke to their CEO immediately?

We shut down the app

Did you speak to their CEO immediately?

We got in touch with them and we demanded they delete any data they had. And their chief data officer told us that they had.

'Facebook Is Not A Surveillance Firm'

Facebook is different from a surveillance company as users have control over their information, Zuckerberg said.

The information you share, you put there and you can take it down anytime you want. The information we collect, you can choose to have us not collect, you could delete it and of course you could leave Facebook. I don’t know of any surveillance organisation that gives people the option of deleting what they collect.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg Refuses To Commit To Limiting User Data Collection

Senator Frank Pallone of New Jersey posed three questions to Zuckerberg asking him to answer with only a yes or a no.

When asked if Facebook would commit to changing its default settings “to minimise, to the greatest extent possible, the collection of user data”, Zuckerberg resorted to an extended pause.

“This is a complex issue that deserves more than a one word answer,” he said.

“That's disappointing,” replied the senator.

Pallone later gave Zuckerberg the option of discussing the possibility of minimising user data collection separately to which the Facebook chief agreed.

'Can Do Better Job Of Explaining'

Zuckerberg said that Facebook can do a better job of explaining to its users how advertising works.

We do try to explain what we do. We don’t sell data. That’s not how advertising works. We can do a better job to clear those misconceptions.  
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg Delivers Opening Statement

In his opening statement, Zuckerberg said that Facebook hasn’t done enough to prevent tools from doing harm. That includes fake news, foreign interference in elections, hate speech and data privacy, he said.

We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I am sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I am responsible for what happens here today.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Panel Chairman Kicks Off Proceedings

Oregon representative and chairman of the panel Greg Walden delivered his opening statement ahead of Zuckerberg’s testimony. Walden praised Zuckerberg for writing Facebook’s success story. However, he raised concerns around Facebook’s business model and privacy issues.

While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it may have not matured. I think its time to ask whether Facebook moved to fast and broken too many things.
Senator Walden, Chairman, Oregon

Zuckerberg's Testimony To Resume Shortly

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, rounding out a Capitol Hill tour that’s part apology and part defence of the company.

We'll have live coverage of the hearing in a bit.

Zuckerberg testified before lawmakers on Capitol Hill for roughly five hours Tuesday when he said he was willing to consider new restrictions, and agreed to send suggestions to Congress. Here are the highlights.

Stay Updated With Tech News On BloombergQuint