Millionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants Congress to know he's just like everyone else: He, too, had his personal Facebook data stolen and sold to Cambridge Analytica, he said during his second day of hearings on Capitol Hill.
“Was your data included in the data sold to the malicious third parties, your personal data?” Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California who represents the Silicon Valley region on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “Yes,” Zuckerberg said.
Facebook has said that the data for 87 million users were snagged by the digital marketing company that did work on behalf of the Trump and Brexit campaigns, without those users’ knowledge. Facebook also failed to notify the users whose user data was compromised after the company discovered that Cambridge Analytica had bought the information back in 2015.
Instead, the social media company tried to force Cambridge Analytica to delete the information, but copies remained, as various news outlets reported in February. Cambridge Analytica then used that data to target Trump campaign–related content at certain users.
“Do you think you have a moral responsibility to run a platform that protects our democracy?” Eshoo asked Zuckerberg. Again, he answered yes.
And though Zuck admitted his privacy was violated, he’s also afforded special privileges on the platform he controls. He and other executives permanently deleted messages that they’d sent to other people on the app, according to TechCrunch. No other users are afforded that privilege.
Eshoo also pressed Zuckerberg on whether there were other firms like Cambridge Analytica out there, other companies that had harvested users’ data without their knowledge and used it for purposes unknown to them. Zuckerberg insisted that Facebook was investigating but couldn’t say for sure.
Cover image: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reacts to a question about the hotel he stayed in last night as he testifies before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)