Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday April 12, 2018
Zuckerberg: regulation of social media firms is ‘inevitable’
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a House oversight panel Wednesday that he believes it is “inevitable” there will be regulation of the social media industry and also disclosed to lawmakers that his own data was included in the personal information sold to malicious third parties.
“The internet is growing in importance around the world in people’s lives and I think that it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation,” Zuckerberg said during testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “So my position is not that there should be no regulation but I also think that you have to be careful about regulation you put in place.”
Larger, more dominant companies like Facebook have the resources to comply with government regulation, he said, but “that might be more difficult for a smaller startup to comply with.”
Lawmakers in both parties have floated possible regulation of Facebook and other tech companies amid privacy scandals and Russian intervention on the platform. It’s not clear what that regulation would look like and Zuckerberg didn’t offer any specifics.
Zuckerberg was answering a question from Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., when he informed lawmakers about his personal data, a reference to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that has rocked his company over the past several weeks.
His remarks came as he opened the second day of a congressional inquisition in the wake of the worst privacy debacle in his company’s history. A day earlier Zuckerberg batted away often-aggressive questioning from senators who accused him of failing to protect the personal information of millions of Americans from Russians intent on upsetting the U.S. Election.
The stakes are high for both Zuckerberg and his company. Facebook has been reeling from its worst-ever privacy failure following revelations last month that the political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica, which was affiliated with Trump’s 2016 campaign, improperly scooped up data on about 87 million users. Zuckerberg has been on an apology tour for most of the past two weeks, culminating in his congressional appearances this week.
But what comes next is unclear. (Source: Chicago Tribune)
Published in the Hamilton Spectator