Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had a bit of a harder time during his second bout with the US Congress, failing to elaborate on how the platform collects data from users who haven’t signed up to the site. The main man himself also revealed that he wasn’t immune to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as his data was vacuumed like everyone else.
One of the more pressing concerns of Congress during this second hearing was how Facebook tracks user data around the world, as well as those that have yet to even sign up to the site, dubbed “shadow profiles.” Shadow profiles are essentially pockets of data filled with information about those that have deleted Facebook or have yet to even set up a profile to begin with.
In response to questions as to why, Zuckerberg stated that its “collects data on people who have not signed up for Facebook for security purposes. Even if someone isn't logged in, we track certain information, like how many pages they're accessing, as a security measure.”
New Mexico representative Ben Lujan asked for Zuckerberg to elaborate on the practice, questioning how many data points Facebook collects on those that haven’t even joined the platform. Zuckerberg stated that his team would have to return with that information at a later date, as the CEO himself did not know.
Lujan criticised Zuckerberg and his platform for taking information from people who haven’t even signed a privacy agreement. Even more astounding, when questioned by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo if Zuckerberg would consider changing its business model for the betterment of user privacy, he simply responded that he was “not sure what that means.”
Despite being the head honcho, Zuckerberg himself also revealed that he was included in the data “sold to the malicious third parties,” which likely isn’t surprising given that pretty much every user on the platform was affected.
The way things are going, it looks like Zuckerberg will have to dust himself off for a progressively harder time with the US Congress in the coming months. At the very least, we should expect some answers as to why Facebook has been able to get away with harvesting data from users that haven’t consented, unless Zuckerberg continues to perfect the deflection techniques he’s seemingly getting good at.
KitGuru Says: Even if there are no immediate repercussions, with the whole world keeping its eye on the platform, Zuckerberg and his team have their work cut out. For those who are ridding themselves of the platform under the #deletefacebook trend, you can keep up to date on the latest news over on our Twitter page if not directly from our website.