Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, zeroed in on the central issue of the hearing, asking Mr. Zuckerberg whether he would be comfortable sharing aloud the name of the hotel where he stayed on Monday night, or whether he would be comfortable sharing the names of the people he has messaged this week.
“No. I would probably not choose to do that publicly here,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.
“I think that may be what this is all about,” Mr. Durbin said. “Your right to privacy. The limits of your right to privacy. And how much you give away in modern America in the name of, quote, connecting people around the world”.
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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, was looking like the fugitive in the face of the questions posed to him by the lawmakers of America. He almost had nothing to answer, except the oft-repeated statement of “I’ll have my team get back to you.” He uttered this sentence in almost 20 instances.
Zuckerberg apologized in front of the lawmakers and acknowledged that it was his mistake! But why did he say mistake? It was blatantly intentional! Wasn’t it? It was surprising that no lawmakers questioned that and nobody suggested him to step down!
The breach of data on such massive scale must have fetched Zuckerberg a fortune worth billions in money. It can be termed as pure fraudulence and something that can be very dangerous for individuals, for a nation’s security, as well as in terms of the right to privacy.
Zuckerberg did say that he will be careful in the future but did not mention what steps he thinks should be taken to stop this data theft.
Frank Pallone (Democrat, New Jersey) said, “I think you should make that commitment.”
Creating new regulation will be an arduous, flawed process. But one thing Facebook could do right now? Move to an opt-in model, one which requires users to decide to make something public, as is the default (and most popular) option for posting content now.
In a similar vein, Mr. Zuckerberg was asked to get back to Congressman Frank Pallone on how the company might consider collecting less information on its users.
Zuckerberg should be made to commit by the Congress as to what steps he will take so that this kind of incident is not repeated again. He is liable to answer this to the 2 billion Facebook users who feel vulnerable in the wake of such data scams. He should also face a fair trial of what he has done and subject to prosecution.