Zuckerberg doesn’t have all the answers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. 

Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have all the answers lawmakers are looking for.

In his first appearance on Capitol Hill testifying before Congress, Zuckerberg seemed to frustrate some senators when he said he didn’t know or he’d have to check with his staff in order to answer certain questions.

In the first two hours of his testimony, Zuckerberg said he’d have to check with his team or did not know the answer at least ten times.

In one exchange with Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, Zuckerberg was asked if Facebook tracked devices that have Facebook downloaded onto them, but are not using Facebook. Zuckerberg said he didn’t know and that he’d have to check with his team. Sen. Blunt seemed annoyed and stated this seemed like a basic question. “Really?” he asked.  

Zuckerberg testified Tuesday at the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees and will be on Capitol Hill again Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  He’s there to discuss online privacy and data protection and apologize for the company’s missteps. Facebook has been engulfed in controversy since it was made public that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy with ties to the Trump presidential campaign, harvested data on up to 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

With more than 2 billion users monthly, Facebook is the world’s largest social network and one of the most influential technology platforms in the world. It’s been trying to grapple with its scale and influence, along with the negative consequences that come with it.

Both Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have admitted they were unprepared for the levels of attacks and manipulation that bad actors would use on their platforms. The controversy raises questions over Facebook’s handling of our personal information — and if the social network can even be trusted to protect all that data. Remember, Facebook is an ad-supported site, which means it makes its money off of users’ data.

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