Tomorrow, when Mark Zuckerberg sits in the hot seat opposite a bipartisan bevy of lawmakers in Congress, we may finally get some real answers. Or, at least that’s what we’re all hoping. Because, up to now, the Facebook CEO and founder hasn’t said much–despite doing multiple interviews with news outlets and a conference call with journalists last week. He hasn’t given satisfying answers to the questions we’re all asking. Even as new revelations mount about the social network’s use of personal info, so do the unknowns.
Today, Zuckerberg released his opening statement to one of the Congressional committees, and it was more of the same. He apologized and pledged to do more. He explained what we already knew, and promised that what has happened over the last four years won’t happen again.
But without specifics, we really are no closer to understanding just how big this Facebook problem is. Thus, it’s important that its founder and CEO really answer the questions and the follow-up queries, and not just dance around them. Here are some themes that we hope Congress really drives home when it goes head-to-head with Zuckerberg.
One of the most jarring revelations about the Cambridge Analytica debacle is just how easy it was for a third party to harvest tens of millions of Facebook users’ personal data. This leads to the question: How does Facebook value user privacy? While Zuckerberg is quick to say he puts customers first, he hasn’t changed much when it comes to these settings. What’s more, the company has made a practice of obfuscating what should be simple privacy safeguards….