Day two of the Facebook CEO’s grilling in Washington, DC, was more aggressive than the first. It gave us a glimpse into what Facebook has done in the past, where it currently stands, and where it is heading next. Here are some of the key points to emerge from his testimony.
NEPC isn't alone in calling out for schools and educators to show much greater caution in their use of social media and digital tools. EdTech Strategies, a consultancy that researches education technology, innovation and policy, recently published a six-part series intended to "shed light" on the use of websites by schools and state departments of education.
What the first day of the Zuckerberg hearings made clear is that many American lawmakers are illiterate when it comes to 21st century technology. As a result, the issue that was supposed to be the focus of the hearing -- "social media privacy and the use and abuse of data," as Sen. Chuck Grassley put it -- was but one among many. And at the moment when the country needed a smart conversation about privacy, what it got was meandering questions and misfires.
"One of the biggest challenges that I think comes with the GDPR is how do you enable an ongoing program within the enterprise? It's not a tick-box exercise. There is a fundamental change required in an enterprise in order to comply on an ongoing basis with the GDPR."
Facebook now says the data firm Cambridge Analytica gained unauthorized access to up to 87 million users' data, mainly in the United States. This figure is far higher than the 50 million users that were previously reported. Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer shared this figure at the end of a lengthy--and somewhat unrelated--blog post Wednesday that laid out a slew of changes Facebook is making to restrict access to user data.
GDPR is a piece of legislation that was approved in April 2016. European authorities have given companies two years to comply and it will come into force on May 25, 2018. It replaces a previous law called the Data Protection Directive and is aimed at harmonizing rules across the 28-nation EU bloc. The aim is to give consumers control of their personal data as it is collected by companies.
The company’s core business that powers around $4 billion in monthly revenue is monetizing everything you do on Facebook to serve its advertisers. However, users may not know that the powerful social network already has an opinion about your political leanings -- and it’s fairly easy to find out what Mark Zuckerberg’s company thinks of your political preferences.
“This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site. While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered something distressing: Facebook also had about two years’ worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received,” the news outlet reported.
Facebook stores almost every single interaction you've had with the social network since you joined, including every time you've logged in, ads you've clicked, events you've been invited to, a list of the people you follow, your friends, your hometown, every time you've sent or received a message, every single status update and more.
The drumbeat to regulate Big Tech began pounding long before the Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked Facebook--six long years ago, the Obama administration pushed a “Privacy Bill of Rights” that, like most other legislative attempts to safeguard your data online, went nowhere. But this time, as they say, feels different. Thanks to repeated lapses from not just Facebook but all corners of Silicon Valley, some sort of regulation seems not only plausible but imminent.