During two days of marathon testimony before Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg managed to avoid answering some critical questions about how user information is managed and the extent to which that data might have been improperly shared with third parties.
One congresswoman wasn’t having it.
“As CEO, you didn’t know some key facts,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) toward the end of the second day of Zuckerberg’s Congressional hearings.
Zuckerberg has been in Washington, D.C. this week to answer for a series of Facebook scandals. Lawmakers grilled him on Cambridge Analytica, a Republican-backed political consultancy firm that illegitimately acquired data from up to 87 million Facebook users. Zuckerberg was also questioned about Russian election interference, global and domestic privacy regulations, and competition in the social media space.
Zuckerberg largely stuck to his script, touting the changes Facebook has made in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He endorsed greater privacy controls on the internet philosophically but avoided supporting any specific regulation when questioned.
During one of the more heated lines of questioning, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) asked Zuckerberg about so-called “shadow profiles” — a term used to describe information Facebook collects on people who have never created an account.
Zuckerberg said, “in general we collect data on people who have not signed up for Facebook for security purposes.” Luján pressed him, asking “these are called shadow profiles?” Zuckerberg said, “I’m not familiar with that.”
That denial was one of several that struck Rep. Dingell as implausible. She kept track of the things Zuckerberg said that he didn’t know during both hearings, but that she thinks he really should. Continue reading for Dingell’s complete list, which she read aloud during Wednesday’s hearing.
- “You didn’t know about major court cases regarding your privacy policies against your company.”
- “You didn’t know that FTC doesn’t have fining authority and that Facebook could not have received fines for the 2011 consent order.”
- “You didn’t know what a shadow profile was.”
- “You didn’t know how many apps you need to audit.”
- “You did not know how many firms have been sold data by Dr. Kogan, other than Cambridge Analytica.”
- “You don’t even know all the kinds of information Facebook is collecting from its own users.”