Zuckerberg Says People Don't Understand How Facebook Uses Their Data Because Privacy Policies Are Hard
The Facebook CEO and billionaire told members of Congress that ‘long privacy policies are very confusing.’
Image: Screengrab/US Senate
Zuckerberg appeared before a joint Senate committee hearing Tuesday to answer questions
about Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and allegedly used the Facebook data of 87 million people collected by an academic researcher.
Sitting before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Zuckerberg fielded questions about data privacy and what the company was doing differently going forward. He said that being transparent with users on what data is collected, and how it’s used, is important, but something that everyone in the tech world has struggled to figure out how to do effectively.
“This gets into an issue that we and others in the tech industry have found challenging which is that long privacy policies are very confusing,” Zuckerberg said. “One of the things we’ve struggled with over time is to make things as simple as possible so people can understand it. We don’t expect that most people will want to go through and read a full legal document.”
Earlier this week, Facebook announced a number of steps it was taking to try to increase transparency with users while also protecting data. The company is partnering with researchers to identify major research questions that can be explored with access to Facebook’s data, which it is offering up. It also announced that advertising on the site will become more transparent, with data on who sees which ads, and who pays for them, available to users. On Tuesday, Facebook also announced a $40,000 fund to encourage whistleblowers to flag advertising abuse on the platform.