Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was questioned for nearly ten hours by members of the United State Congress. Many still do not fully understand why. The reason for this was that it was discovered that Facebook gives Cambridge Analytica (UK-based political data firm), which worked on Trump’s presidential campaign, access to the data of over 87 million of its users. This has raised a lot of questions from Facebook users, as the consequences are unclear.
A survey showed that 10% of US Facebook users considered deleting their account after the scandal. But does deleting your account delete your user data Facebook has? When asked by a Senator if Facebook deleted user data when someone deletes their account Mark Zuckerberg said yes. However, the answer is more complex than that; when deleting an account, Facebook will no longer have access to the data 90 days after this action is placed, but some apps may still be able to use your private information. Zuckerberg also stated that Facebook is not selling data to advertisers, but instead, they use the information people give (age, gender and interests)to target ads to a specific audience. This means that even though Facebook does not sell your data to outside parties, they still profit from it.
The main problem about this is that Facebook actually believes they are making the world a better place by doing this. Facebook employs around 25,000 people, many who would want to believe that Facebook is a decent, honorable place to work. Moreover, Facebook is breaking human society, not only because now people are more keen on looking through Facebook than talking amongst each other, but it also has a great potential of spreading fake news.
What was most striking about Facebook’s hearing in the American Congress, was how naive Mark Zuckerberg is, he actually believes that he is not handling a monopoly. These hearings were not just because of the Cambridge Analytica leak, or Facebook’s lax reaction. It is about a much greater problem linked to the lack of transparency of the advertisements, advertisements that may have been decisive or may be decisive in coming elections, or the security of our information in this site. Facebook may carry more power than it actually should, as Facebook controls the various different aspects of the way people share and receive information.
Recent events have made Facebook users, and country leaders, question if it, in reality, is bad for us, leaving Zuckerberg persistently trying to defend it. The fact is that Facebook is too big and has too much information for just one entity to control it, it is the largest virtual public square in the whole world after all.. However, in a way we are all responsible for the power Facebook has today. Because of the rapid nature of the changes and advancements in technology in the world today, the law has not been able to caught up with the new technologies. This proves that there has to be a shift in the laws in order to suit this new era.