Mark Zuckerberg’s miserable 2018 just gets worse, as concerns over privacy and social media management have grown to the point the CEO of Facebook will testify before Congress this week.
The New York Times reports that Zuckerberg was scheduled to appear before several Congressional committees Monday. The Times reports:
“For every major C.E.O., and now for Mark Zuckerberg, this is a rite of passage,” said Reed E. Hundt, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. “Facebook has become so important — not just to business but to society — it can’t avoid having to run the congressional gantlet.”
Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony will represent one of the biggest tests of his career, and a pivotal moment for the company’s future. Facebook’s data collection practices, the core of its ad-based business model, have come under broad scrutiny in recent weeks as the company has been forced to raise its estimates of how much user information was leaked and to admit that “most” of its more than two billion users may have had their public profile data scraped by outside harvesters. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has emerged as a prominent critic of Facebook’s approach to making money from user data, calling user privacy a “human right.”
So far this year, Zuckerberg has faced one social media management crisis after another. The latest has arisen from the use of user data by British firm Cambridge Analytica in its efforts to influence elections including the 2016 presidential election.
But Facebook has tried to react to the problems. According to CNN, Facebook plans to begin Monday letting users know if their data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica. CNN reports:
The company plans to post a link at the top of users’ news feeds that will allow them to see which apps are connected to their Facebook accounts and what information those apps are permitted to see.
“As part of this process we will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” the company said last week.
Facebook users will also have the opportunity to use the link to delete apps and prevent them from collecting more information.