Minute by minute, what Facebook’s founder and CEO is telling US lawmakers in Washington DC.
Mark Zuckerberg is schedule to testify in back-to-back congressional hearings: a joint hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday April 10 and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday April 11.
This post will be updated throughout the week.
April 11, 2018–3:06pm
April 11, 2018–3:01pm
The hearing, the last for Zuckerberg, has adjourned.
Zuckerberg was questioned for 5 hours yesterday and 5 hours today, in addition to the few hours on Monday in his pre-hearing meetings on Capitol Hill.
April 11, 2018–2:47pm
GDPR is trending on Twitter with over 22,700 tweets.
Also yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 2018 Democratic Candidate for US Congress, called for a US GDPR.
April 11, 2018–2:43pm
Rep. Ryan Costello also asks about what is good about Europe’s GDPR. Same answer from Zuckerberg. He adds he would want to get people’s consent before using facial recognition for non-Facebook users.
April 11, 2018–2:20pm
Rep. Scott Peters asks: What the Europeans got right with the GDPR?
Zuckerberg: GDPR in general is going to be a very positive step for the Internet. It codifies a lot of things we have already done for a long time; but it also has new things which are good steps for us to take, like putting privacy controls in front of people constantly — which we have done randomly in the past.
Rep. Peters then asks: Anything wrong the Europeans have done?
Zuckerberg, after a long pose: “I need to think about that more.”
April 11, 2018–2:12pm
April 11, 2018–2:09pm
In his response to Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana on countering terrorist-related content online, Zuckerberg says that Facebook has a 200-member counter-terrorism team, additional content-reviewers, a capacity of around 30 languages, and a number of AI tools.
April 11, 2018–1:52pm
EU Commissioner Vera Jourova on Facebook and GDPR:
April 11, 2018–1:39pm
April 11, 2018–1:35pm
April 11, 2018–13:39pm
Zuckerberg on tackling the fake news issue: “we need to build more AI tools”
April 11, 2018–11:01am
Zuckerberg confirms that Facebook is going to extended Europe’s GDPR privacy controls around the world. We believe everyone around the world deserves good privacy controls, he said.
April 11, 2018–10:41am
Zuckerberg says his personal data was compromised in the Cambridge Analytica data breach.
April 11, 2018–10:40am
Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo asks Zuckerberg questions collected from her constituents in California.
April 11, 2018–10:26am
April 11, 2018–10:18am
Question: Is Facebook a media company?
Zuckerberg: We consider ourselves a technology company, […] but we have a responsibility on what content is published on our platform, but we don’t produce the content.
Q: Is Facebook a financial institution?
Zuckerberg: We don’t consider ourself a financial institution, but you’re right, we provide tools to send money.
April 11, 2018–9:35am
April 11, 2018–8:03am
Julien Decot, Facebook director of platform partnerships for EMEA, writes on LinkedIn: “I am proud to say to my 8 year old daughter that I work for Zuck. The last few weeks have been draining and hard but I can’t help being inspired by our 33 year old CEO. Future will tell where Facebook lands as a company but seeing his focus, candor, and patience dealing thoughtfully with some of the most challenging issues of our time has been something very special. In the troubled and complex world we live in, working for a guy like him is a real privilege.”
I am proud to say to my 8 year old daughter that I work for Zuck. The last few weeks have been draining and hard but I…www.linkedin.com
April 11, 2018–6:29am
Axios’ Kim Hart and David McCabe write: “The majority of the 44 lawmakers questioning Zuckerberg in the joint Senate hearing were not well versed in the workings of Facebook or how data is shared between platforms, developers and advertisers. The questions generally focused on what Facebook was capable of doing, allowing Zuckerberg to stay in a safe zone of providing the basics.”
They point out some of the unanswered questions, including:
- Exactly what kind of privacy regulation is Facebook open to?
- Will Facebook truly be able to monitor the troves of content on its site for harmful material and misinformation?
- Has Facebook removed left-leaning groups or pages from the site?
- How long does Facebook store data after a user deletes their profile?
- When did he personally first find out about Cambridge Analytica’s inappropriate data use?
- Should Facebook allow users to be paid for data?
In an Axios piece titled Mark Zuckerberg Outwits Congress, Sara Fischer and Dan Primack write: “Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday morphed from a shy tech nerd into a confident business executive who ran circles around lawmakers.” They add: “the idea of this group of senators regulating digital data right now seems far-fetched. […] Zuckerberg and Facebook won by default, or forfeit.”
April 11, 2018–6:16am
Background memo by the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce on today’s testimony to start at 10am.
April 11, 2018–6:06am
Commenting on this photo of Zuckerberg’s notes during the testimony, Kara Swisher of Recode said: “There is more info here than in that whole hearing.”
April 11, 2018–6am
Rousseau Kazi, product manager at Facebook, writes on his feed, which Zuckerberg shared last night: “Facebook’s success now gives it a whole new level of responsibility. That success, reach, impact comes with an appropriate level of critique and concern. All of this, I truly believe, will make Facebook even stronger and a better tool to connect the world/bring us closer together.”
April 11, 2018–5:35am
Great read on technology, Facebook, and diplomacy… And Denmark’s Tech Ambassador Casper Klynge: “The role of tech ambassador was created by the Danish government as a response to two main trends,” writes Nikolay Nikolov in a Mashable article titled Denmark hired a tech ambassador. After what happened with Facebook, maybe every country should. He explains: “One is that technology is now a driving force shaping the world — think the Trump-Russia scandal, Cambridge Analytica, etc. The other is that a small number of tech companies are the main catalysts for that change — enter Facebook.”
Klynge points out: “The timing couldn’t have been better for the Danish Foreign Ministry to appoint a tech ambassador. The developments we’ve seen with Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, etc. — I think that’s a confirmation that you do need to have techplomacy. You do need to have direct dialogue with tech companies.”
Casper Klynge is not a conventional diplomat. And serving as Denmark's, and indeed the world's, first tech ambassador…mashable.com
April 10, 2018–8pm
Zuckerberg’s legal and public policy team accompanying him on Capitol Hill:
Some of Mark Zuckerberg's public policy and legal team at today's hearing on Capitol Hill: Facebook General Counsel…www.linkedin.com
April 10, 2018–7:28pm
April 10, 2018–7:24pm
Five hours later, today’s hearing is adjourned.
April 10, 2018–6:39pm
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, is testifying before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday to answer questions…www.nytimes.com
April 10, 2018–6:32pm
April 10, 2018–6:28pm
“Your user’s agreement sucks,” Senator Kennedy tells Zuckerberg.
April 10, 2018–6:02pm
April 10, 2018–5:45pm
According to the Wall Street Journal, “with an average age of 62, the senators interviewing Mark Zuckerberg skew older than the average Facebook user.”
April 10, 2018–5:30pm
Zuckerberg says “in principle” he would support legislation to require user permission before their data is used but he says details would matter.
April 10, 2018–5:18pm
April 10, 2018–5:09pm
Zuckerberg on social media addiction: This is something every parent thinks about, the role of technology in society.
April 10, 2018–5:07pm
April 10, 2018–4:09pm
Zuckerberg: “We have a broader responsibility than the law requires.”
April 10, 2018–3:55pm
Sen. Graham asks Zuckerberg if he would, as a company, welcome regulation?
Zuckerberg responds: “I think if it’s the right regulation, then yes.”
April 10, 2018–3:38pm
Zuckerberg says Facebook was subpoenaed by Mueller’s office. But he then corrects himself saying Facebook may have been subpoenaed and the company is in contact with Mueller’s office. He said he has not been interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller, but Facebook staff has.
April 10, 2018–3:35pm
Regarding Europe’s GDPR, Zuckerberg says that everyone deserves good privacy and protection […] but we have different sensibilities compared with other countries.
That said, Zuckerberg confirms they’re going to implement GDPR rules also outside of Europe.
April 10, 2018–3:16pm
Zuckerberg on terrorist content online: 99% of ISIS content we take down now is flagged by AI tools way before is flagged by people.
April 10, 2018–3:13pm
Zuckerberg on past failures: It’s impossible to start a company in your dorm room and grow it to the scale it’s today without mistakes. But now we need to take a more proactive role and make sure our tools are used for good. We need to police our ecosystem.
April 10, 2018–3:05pm
Zuckerberg: Long privacy policies are too hard to read.
April 10, 2018–3:04pm
Zuckerberg on how Facebook has since now spotted possible breaches and misuse of data from other apps: We have looked at patterns and reports from users, he said. Going forward, we’ll have a more proactive position with spot checks, and more audits.
April 10, 2018–3pm
Zuckerberg ready to take questions.
April 10, 2018–2:55pm
Zuckerberg is proceeding with his testimony, reading from the text released yesterday.
April 10, 2018–2:50pm
Sen. Senator Dianne Feinstein to Zuckerberg: “You have a real opportunity this afternoon to lead the industry and demonstrate a meaningful commitment to protecting individual privacy.”
April 10, 2018–2:44pm
Sen. John Thune says Facebook’s story represents the American dream but he points out that Zuckerberg has “an obligation to make sure that dream doesn’t become a privacy nightmare for the people who use Facebook.”
April 10, 2018–2:37pm
As Zuckerberg’s hearing starts, Silicon Valley is trending on Twitter with more than 13,000 tweets.
April 10, 2018–2:31pm
Zuckerberg has arrived. Some of the Facebook people with him: General Counsel Colin Stretch, who testified back in October last year; Joel Kaplan, Vice President for US Public Policy; Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer; Myriah Jordan, public policy director for congressional affairs; associate general counsel for compliance Pearl Del Rosario; and Brian Rice, director of public policy.
April 10, 2018–2:08pm
Zuckerberg’s post on Facebook as he arrives on Capitol Hill: “I will do everything I can to make Facebook a place where everyone can stay closer with the people they care about, and to make sure it’s a positive force in the world.”
In an hour I'm going to testify in front of the Senate about how Facebook needs to take a broader view of our…www.facebook.com
April 10, 2018–2:07pm
NBC News reports that Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson plans to ask the following questions, according to his office: “Are you actually considering making Facebook users, like me and folks in my home state, pay you not to use our information?” and “Does Facebook consider my personal data to be the company data or my data?”
Nelson will also rip Facebook in his opening statement. “Facebook has a responsibility to protect this personal information,” he’ll say, according to his office. “Unfortunately, I believe that the company failed to do so. This is not the first time Facebook has mishandled its users’ information.”
April 10, 2018–2:03pm
April 10, 2018–1:56pm
April 10, 2018–1:52pm
“Facebook now plays a critical role in many social relationships, informing Americans about current events, and pitching everything from products to political candidates,” said Senator Thune. “Our joint hearing will be a public conversation with the CEO of this powerful and influential company about his vision for addressing problems that have generated significant concern about Facebook’s role in our democracy, bad actors using the platform, and user privacy.”
“Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, using data to connect people from around the world. With all of the data exchanged over Facebook and other platforms, users deserve to know how their information is shared and secured. This hearing will explore approaches to privacy that satisfy consumer expectations while encouraging innovation,” Senator Grassley said.
Thune also released a statement this morning:
WASHINGTON - Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senate Committee…www.commerce.senate.gov
April 10, 2018–1:44pm
April 10, 2018–1:31pm
Sheryl Sandberg on Zuckerberg’s testimony today: “This is an important opportunity to speak with policy makers about the steps we’re taking to protect people who use our services.”
April 10, 2018–1:21pm
Don Graham, a former board member at Facebook, on Zuckerberg, who he met in January 2005 when Facebook was only 9 months old: “I want to talk to a different group: those who have come to believe that Mark Zuckerberg is himself a bad person. […] I know I can’t persuade you, but I would like to tell you otherwise. Watching him close up, I came to believe he is someone of great decency and good character. In a most unfavorable setting, what he says to members of Congress will be, within the limits of legal advice and courtesy, what he believes. And if he says that Facebook will do something, the company will do it (or at least, will try as hard as it can).”
April 10, 2018–1:20pm
The New York Times says “Silicon Valley’s hometown representatives, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat of the Judiciary committee, and Kamala Harris, a junior Democrat, will be important to watch. Among the areas to keep an eye on: Whether they push for privacy regulation and tougher enforcement powers at the Federal Trade Commission.”
The paper adds: “Ms. Harris, a former prosecutor, has seen her profile rise quickly within the Democratic and she, along with Cory Booker of New Jersey, are expected to run for higher office. They may make their criticism of Silicon Valley into a political issue to lay the groundwork for future campaigns. The harshest questions may come from former prosecutors in the Judiciary Committee. Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut and Ms. Harris are former prosecutors who are expected to grill Mr. Zuckerberg on what he knew and when during the Cambridge Analytica scandal and they are skilled at keeping witnesses off their talking points.”
April 10, 2018–1:12pm
Anybody watching the live streams of the testimony today interested in talking to NBC Bay Area?
April 10, 2018–1:07pm
Please welcome our weekly sponsor GetStream.io to Hacker Noon! Stream enables you to build scalable news feeds &…hackernoon.com
April 10, 2018–12:50pm
Senator Mark Warner: “Facebook and other social media companies have grown from startups in dorm rooms and garages to some of the world’s most powerful companies. With that power comes a responsibility to the American people and their users around the world. I’m hoping to see Mr. Zuckerberg, as well as the other tech CEOs, recognize this responsibility and tell the American people how they plan to restore and preserve our trust.”
He added, after Twitter announced its support to the #HonestAds Act: “Huge step forward. […] I hope Google will soon join Facebook and Twitter in supporting this bipartisan bill to bring accountability and transparency to online political ads.”
April 10, 2018–12:40pm
April 10, 2018–12:38pm
According to Brian Barrett at WIRED, “don’t expect Facebook to be the only tech giant feeling the heat; senators Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar have already turned some of the spotlight toward Google and Twitter, two platforms who have enjoyed relative calm while Facebook gets pummeled, despite similar business practices and vulnerabilities. The legislators sent letters to the CEOs of both companies Monday urging them to implement similar political advertising restrictions to what Facebook has already announced.”
Posting on Twitter yesterday, Senator Klobuchar said: “.@MarkWarner & I are calling on Twitter & Google to do what Facebook has done: voluntarily implement the stronger standards for online political ads in our #HonestAds Act. Americans deserve to know who’s paying to influence our elections no matter the platform.”
April 10, 2018–12:25pm
In a op-ed originally appeared in Fortune and later published on the Senate Judiciary Committee website, Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley said that Zuckerberg testimony is “garnering a lot of fanfare, but it’s important to stay focused on the reason for the hearing: to gather information and begin an open dialogue about how we address growing consumer privacy concerns.”
He adds: “Over the last several weeks, the case of data misuse involving Cambridge Analytica has clearly broken consumer trust. It has been a catalyst for a conversation that, frankly, is long overdue. Many may not fully understand or appreciate the extent to which personal data is collected, protected, transferred, used, or misused. Ensuring that policies regarding data privacy and security sync with the rapid advance of technology is paramount. Data privacy should be tethered to consumer expectations. At the very least, that should mean increased transparency for consumers.”
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciarywww.judiciary.senate.gov
April 10, 2018–11:59am
April 10, 2018–11:25am
April 10, 2018–10:26am
Today, Facebook is launching the Data Abuse Bounty to reward people who report any misuse of data by app developers.
“We committed to launching this program a few weeks ago as part of our efforts to more quickly uncover potential abuse of people’s information,” writes Facebook Head of Product Security Collin Greene in a blog post today. “The Data Abuse Bounty, inspired by the existing bug bounty program that we use to uncover and address security issues, will help us identify violations of our policies.”
Today, Facebook is launching the Data Abuse Bounty to reward people who report any misuse of data by app developers. We…newsroom.fb.com
April 10, 2018–10:23am
April 10, 2018–10:15am
April 10, 2018–9:20am
April 10, 2018–9am
Live Twitter poll via KTVU: Will this week’s congressional hearings change your mind about your privacy on Facebook? So far, 61% have responded “no.”
April 10, 2018–8:40am
Zuckerberg is trending on Twitter with more than 12,000 tweets. He’s also trending on Google search (60th most trending) with more than 13,000 news article as of this morning.
On Facebook, the top trend is Cambridge Analytica.
April 10, 2018–8:30am
- Can Mr. Zuckerberg project contrition in an unscripted setting?
- Will Facebook disclose more bad news?
- Is there momentum for legislation or regulation?
- Why did Facebook wait so long to make policy changes after reaching an agreement with the government to get user consent for collecting personal data?
- Will election-year politics complicate the atmospherics?
April 10, 2018–8:10am
Senator John Thune this morning on CBS about Zuckerberg: “I think he wants to take this head on, which I think he needs to. Facebook has to step up, take responsibility for what happened, and tells us what they’re going to do in the future to protect users’ data and what they’re going to do proactively to stop their harmful conduct.”
April 10, 2018–6:30am
“Big Tech’s new era begins,” says Axios’ Mike Allen this morning calling today’s testimony the start of “a new day […], a new era that will be defined by skepticism, regulation and constant collision.”
POLITICO Playbook this morning points out that “Many members of Congress are barely technologically literate.” It adds: “Lawmakers aren’t going to stop after one hearing. Government often takes a long time to enact regulations, but Zuckerberg is going to be on the spot to defend Silicon Valley and make the case for why massive social networks that connect billions of people should be treated differently than any other major utility, and why it doesn’t need Congress to regulate it.”
April 9, 2018–8:45pm
“He’s a very nice young man,” Senator Dianne Feinstein told Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis about her meeting with Zuckerberg. “He’s very young. And he has 27,000 employees. And it’s — that’s amazing. He’s obviously smart. He obviously knows what he’s doing and he has a very pleasant personality. He’s not hard-edged in any way that I saw.”
April 9, 2018–8:10pm
April 9, 2018–7:45pm
April 9, 2018–7pm
“Facebook failed us,” writes Senator Bill Nelson on a Twitter thread. “Not only did they fail to safeguard the personal information of millions of users, they concealed it from us. If Facebook can’t fix its privacy problems, and other companies as well, then we will not have any personal privacy.”
April 9, 2018–4:10pm
Interviewed on CNBC, Senator John Kennedy said: “I come in peace. I don’t want to regulate them half to death but I think it’s pretty clear the digital Promised Land is not all milk and honey. We’ve discovered some impurities in the punch bowl.”
April 9, 2018–3:55pm
Senator Bill Nelson, ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, after meeting with Zuckerberg today: he was “sincere and forthright,” according to Bloomberg. “I believe he understands that regulation could be right around the corner.”
April 9, 2018–3:45pm
“I don’t have a specific policy announcement on that front, but I think we’re all looking forward to that testimony,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said during today’s press briefing responding to a journalist asking: “I want to ask you about Mark Zuckerberg — headed to the Hill to testify. This administration has often talked about deregulation and the deregulatory effort that the President and this administration has undergone. But there’s a question of whether or not Facebook should be regulated. Does the White House have a stance on whether or not Facebook should be regulated? And if so, what is that position?”
April 9, 2018–1:30pm
April 9, 2018–11:55am
Read the full text of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony (via Axios):
“Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can bring. […] But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m
responsible for what happens here.”
April 9, 2018–10:50am
April 9, 2018–10:30am
Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s op-ed on CNBC: “When Mark Zuckerberg testifies, I expect a detailed accounting of how Facebook shared the data of its 2 billion users — most of whom didn’t know their data was being shared. I expect to hear how Facebook is strengthening its privacy protections and empowering consumers to understand and choose how their data is shared. The big question for Congress is what comes next. I urge my Republican colleagues to put forward their own ideas so we can negotiate a bipartisan bill to improve data security and consumer privacy.”
April 9, 2018 — 9:30am
Today, Facebook is announcing a new initiative to help provide independent, credible research about the role of social…newsroom.fb.com
“I think there’s just been a very basic shift in how we view our responsibility. We used to view our role as building tools for people and saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to put this power in your hands.’ And we think people are basically good, and we think that that can have a net positive effect. Now I just think we understand — both because of the ability for us to develop these things and because of the scale at which we operate — that it’s also our responsibility to make sure that all these tools are used well, not just to put them in people’s hands. You know, you can’t just give people a voice. You need to also make sure that that voice is not used for foreign interference in elections or disseminating fake news.”
Lawmakers will get the chance to grill Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week about the company's data practices, its…www.axios.com
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Congress has plenty of questions for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who will testify on Capitol…finance.yahoo.com
Sunday April 8 — 10pm
Zuckerberg “will hold meetings with some U.S. lawmakers on Monday, a day before he is due to appear at Congressional hearings over a political consultancy’s use of customer data,” Reuters reports citing two congressional aides.
The New York Times reports that “in preparation for Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony, his first such appearance, Facebook has spent the last couple of weeks trying to transform its public image from a defiant, secretive behemoth into a contrite paragon of openness, announcing a string of new privacy and anti-abuse measures and making company executives available for numerous interviews. It has also hired a team of experts, including a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, to put Mr. Zuckerberg, 33, a cerebral coder who is uncomfortable speaking in public, through a crash course in humility and charm. The plan is that when he sits down before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees on Tuesday, Mr. Zuckerberg will have concrete changes to talk about, and no questions he can’t handle.”