MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Experts are questioning whether Facebook is fundamentally changing its relationship with users or just tinkering around the edges of its deep need for user data to sell ads.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of revelations that pro-Donald Trump data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica scooped millions of Facebook users’ data without their knowledge.
Researchers say it’s unlikely that Facebook will upset its business model, which allows advertisers to precisely target users, even as the company clamps down on the information it passes to app developers.
And Wall Street analysts are counting on Facebook to survive a user revolt, with shares up some 4 percent after a nine-month low hit late last month.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was among the panel of 44 senators who grilled Zuckerberg, asking why the personal information from 87 million Facebook users was accessed without their knowledge.
Klobuchar thanked Zuckerberg for voluntarily agreeing to her and Sen. John Mccain’s bill — called the “Honest Ads Act” — to clearly label all political ads with an explanation of who is paying for them. It’s a standard Twitter agreed to Tuesday as well.
Zuckerberg also seemed receptive to Klobuchar’s request for a disclosure within 72 hours to any Facebook user if their information was compromised.
Zuckerberg will continue testifying before Congress Wednesday. Tuesday’s testimony was before a joint Senate committee; Wednesday’s will be before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
A new CBS News and YouGov poll finds most Americans want Congress to do more to regulate social media and tech companies. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed say Facebook’s response to the mishandling of personal data is “unacceptable,” and 63 percent of users believe their data is “unsafe.”
Facebook began to notify users Tuesday if their data was swept up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The detailed messages show up at the top of your news feed.
Experts say the best thing you can do is to review your privacy settings. That will allow you to see what Facebook is giving advertisers about you. Also, you are able to remove apps from your account that are accessing your personal information.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)