I urge you all to prepare your tiny, tiny violins in anticipation of this news: Mark Zuckerberg has informed Congress that, yes, his data was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica too.
It’s day two of Zuck’s testimony before Congress, where politicians from across the aisle are asking tough questions about Facebook’s behaviour over the past few years – none of them involving FarmVille, which is surprising considering the vintage of many US senators and congressmen.
Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, asked a series of questions from her constituents, one of which was “Was your personal data included in the CA breach?”
“Yes,” Zuckerberg confirmed. He offered no further details.
Despite this, for the entire hearing Zuckerberg resisted calls to specifically describe what kind of government regulation he thinks Facebook should be subject to, while confirming that he would be amenable to “some kind” or regulation.
He repeatedly insisted that the ability to control one’s data on Facebook is readily available to all users, and that it isn’t buried in a privacy menu somewhere.
“Every time that someone chooses to share something on Facebook, there is a control,” he said. “Right there. Not buried in the settings somewhere but right there.”
It’s worth mentioning that while he is right – there are privacy controls on every post where you can finely tune exactly who sees or has access to that piece of content – it’s often less clear when it comes to things like interacting with applications and other platforms. Many people have been on Facebook for nearly a decade now, and that’s a lot of accrued data beyond just making posts.
Zuckerberg also confirmed that Facebook does indeed “collect data on people who are not signed up for Facebook for security purposes,” but didn’t go into specifics and had no answer for questions on how those people might be able to delete their data (spoiler alert: they absolutely can’t.)
But that’s the skinny. Zuckerberg had his personal data yanked, which is an absolute tragedy. Now they know that he’s the billionaire CEO of Facebook, which is a grim violation of his privacy.Image: Getty Images