The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal that has rocked Facebook does not seem to be reaching a conclusion any time soon. The Facebook boss had already given an explanation as to what changes they had made to make sure such an incident doesn’t occur again, but the pitchforks were still raised!
Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg went before the US Senate to field questions about how Facebook would protect users digital privacy following this disastrous episode.
What some had hoped would be a turning point in how companies such as Facebook collect data and track users ended up becoming nothing more than a circus. The US Senate came a few questions short of just asking “What is Facebook?”
What is Facebook’s business model? *sigh*
One of the senators who had come to grill Zuckerberg, asked the Facebook owner how the social media company is able to sustain a business model when it is free. Zuckerberg simply replied “Senator, we run ads.”
I mean this was a ludicrous question! Firstly, the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal happened because Facebook shares user data with developers and advertisers for them to provide users with more relevant adverts! Now, if the person who didn’t understand Facebook’s business model was just an ordinary guy this would be fair and fine. But no. This is a part of the guys who are supposed to come up with a way to ‘regulate’ Facebook. This guy is supposed to help put Facebook to task when he isn’t actually familiar with how the platform works? Laughable.
Email via Whatsapp???
One senator in question asked “If I email someone via Whatsapp will Facebook be able to see.” Email? Via Whatsapp? What was more surprising is that the senator who asked this question is not as ancient as one would think. He is only 45 years old. Zuckerberg replied stating that Whatsapp is encrypted (meaning conversations cannot be viewed by anyone apart from the intended recipient and sender).
Encryption… what’s that?
The same senator followed up the question by asking; “Yeah but if I message someone about Black Panther on Whatsapp will I get ads on Facebook?” From this question it is clear this guy does not really understand how encryption works. Facebook owns Whatsapp but they do not have access to messages sent by users, which means NO they cannot target you with ads based on conversations you’ve had on Whatsapp since they do not have that data.
How are the same people who don’t have a clear grasp of how Facebook actually works supposed to regulate the service?