Zuckerberg apologises to European Parliament for massive data leakage scandal


Last 22 May, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, spoke in front of EU lawmakers and apologised for a “massive data leak” that disclosed users’ private information to the political consultancy group Cambridge Analytica. This meeting took place three days before the new EU rules on data protection take effect.

The meeting was attended by the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the leaders of the parliament's political groups and the chair of the civil liberties committee, Claude Moraes.

European lawmakers raised a multitude of questions about his company’s global power, its role in elections and its misuse of user’s data, all scheduled for only one hour and 15 minutes.

However, the members of the European Parliament were not convinced by Mr. Zuckerberg's testimony, claiming someone who had used the session’s format to evade specific questions or just repeat previous statements, because he has first received all the questions and then answered them, either by choosing which one to answer and which not, for example, regarding the questions about shadow profiles or whether non-Facebook users' data should be collected, or by answering several of them in a general way, although in the end a compromise was reached that Zuckerberg will answer all the questions in writing.

Therefore, the meeting was very different from the one held last April, where the creator of Facebook answered the questions of American politicians one by one for two days.

Despite all of the above, Mark Zuckerberg recalled that last year they erased 30,000 false accounts in France to prevent interference in the elections that led Macron to the Elysée. He noted that they have blocked 200 applications that collect data and investigate many others. He said that 99% of terrorist messages disappear almost immediately from Facebook. And he praised that the company will employ almost 10,000 people in Europe by the end of this year.

And finally, he acknowledged that they will need to invest more and that "it will take time to make the necessary changes" to safeguard users' data.

Written by: Cristina García Alzina

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44210800

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Zuckerberg_-_South_by_Southwest_2008_-_2.jpg

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