By Alyssa Coyne
Facebook, one of today’s most popular social media platforms, is under review for harvesting data for over 50 million of their users. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of the company, is being held responsible for the leak and being put under pressure to change the way the company operates the information of the users. This all came about when a British company, Cambridge Analytica who was working with the Trump Presidential campaign in 2016 as a voter profiling company, was able to retain information on users and used the leaked information to try and manipulate voters by putting out political advertisements and Russian propaganda.
Zuckerberg faced pressure from the public and politicians, both in America and England to go to Washington D.C. to share his side of the story. He is due to talk about how the company allowed the hack to happen, what knowledge there was about the hack, and what actions are going to be taken to ensure that an event like this will not happen again. Even though at first he was reluctant; his court date is set for the near future. Other officials were set to take the place of Zuckerberg, but after facing pressure from the public, Zuckerberg took it into his own hands to go to the trial, and to defend his company. According to CNNMoney.com, Zuckerberg’s appearance should lead to other CEO’s from companies such as Twitter and Google to face the court, due to their lack of data privacy, similar to this case. All three are expected to be seen in court in April for a hearing on data privacy, and how it can be adjusted in the future to protect all customers using the platforms.
What does this now mean for the future of Facebook? The current policy states “We collect the content and other information you provide when you use our Services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide, such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created. We also collect information about how you use our Services, such as the types of content you view or engage with or the frequency and duration of your activities.” Zuckerberg has taken it upon himself to make drastic changes to the popular social media platform to ensure the safety of the users. Although Facebook officials say they have had plans to roll out new regulations, that will have pushed closer due to the new data privacy rules that will take place in Europe, and gain the trust of users back. The new General Data Protection Regulation, starting on May 25, 2018, creates protection of the user’s data all across Europe. This new regulation states that it will have “a wider scope, more prescriptive standards, and substantial fines,” according to the Facebook business website. Other changes that will occur will include being more careful about individualizing each account, which involves giving away personal information to outside companies. They also intend to be more cautious about letting companies like Cambridge Analytica, hack the company and invading the privacy of the users.