After responding “let me get back to you on that” over 2,000 times during the marathon hearings at the House and Senate Committees in early April, Senator John Thune has just released the 229 page pdf tome of all the responses.
While there is plenty to shew through, a few things stood out things stood out:
First, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t aware of allegations until March that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted Facebook user data obtained from Aleksandr Kogan’s app, according to June 8 letter to Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Cmte.
“In March 2018, Facebook received information from the media suggesting that the certification we received from SCL may not have been accurate and immediately banned SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica from purchasing advertising on our platform. Since then, Facebook has been actively investigating the issue, including pursuing a forensic audit of Cambridge Analytica, which is currently paused at the request of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (which is separately investigating Cambridge Analytica).
Mr. Zuckerberg did not become aware of allegations that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted data about Facebook users obtained from Kogan’s app until March of 2018, when these issues were raised in the media.”
And additionally, when asked about whether the Trump campaign had special access or supported more than the Clinton campaign, or that the Clinton campaign had received cheaper ads, Facebook denied it…
“…we offered identical support to both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and had teams assigned to both. Everyone had access to the same tools, which are the same tools that every campaign is offered. “
Facebook is more than willing to write it own regulations:
“Facebook is generally not opposed to regulation but wants to ensure it is the right regulation. The issues facing the industry are complex, multi-faceted, and affect an important part of peoples’ lives. As such, Facebook is absolutely committed to working with regulators, like Congress, to craft the right regulations. Facebook would be happy to review any proposed legislation and provide comments.”
And Facebook is not spying on you…
“No, Facebook does not engage in these practices or capture data from a microphone or camera without consent. Of course, we do allow people to take videos on their devices and share those on our platform.
To be crystal clear on this point: Facebook does not use users’ phone’s microphone or any other method to extract audio to inform ads or to determine what they see in their News Feed. Facebook show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information—not what users are talking out loud about. Facebook only accesses users’ microphone if the user has given our app permission and if they are actively using a specific feature that requires audio (like voice messaging features). “
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