Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologises to US Senate

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is surrounded by members of the media as he arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees joint hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018.

For more than two hours, the Facebook CEO weathered slams from senators as he sat for the first of two sessions of Congressional testimony this week.

Patience with the social network had already worn thin among users, advertisers and investors after the company said last year that Russia used Facebook for years to try to sway U.S. politics, an allegation Moscow denies. Christopher Coons, D-Del., who said on Twitter that he has learned of two fake Facebook accounts that are impersonating him and are associated with what appear to be Russian accounts. It concerned Aleksandr Kogan, the Moldovan-born psychologist who used a personality-quiz app to harvest data from tens of millions of Facebook users and then passed the information along to Cambridge Analytica.

As a result, he found it relatively easy to return to familiar talking points: Facebook made mistakes, he and his executives are very sorry, and they're working very hard to correct the problems and safeguard the users' data.

The record will be open for 14 days after the hearings, meaning senators will still be able to submit written questions.

Lawmakers have sought assurances that Facebook can effectively police itself, and few came away from Tuesday's hearing expressing confidence in the social network. The notice says the app misused the information, including public profiles, page likes, birthdays and current cities, by sharing it with Cambridge Analytica. ("Boz is what we call him internally", Zuckerberg explained.) Graham asked if Zuckerberg had done a poor job as C.E.O. of "communicating your displeasure with such thoughts, 'cause, if he had understood where you were at, he would have never said it to begin with".

Forty-three percent of Facebook users surveyed said they were concerned about the invasion of privacy, while only 11 percent of users in the poll said they were "not concerned at all".

Zuckerberg: I do not know off the top of my head.

Representative Eshoo called Facebook's terms and conditions around privacy a "minefield" and repeatedly asked Mr Zuckerberg whether he was "aware of other data mishandlings which have not been disclosed".

Republicans have yet to get behind any legislation, but that could change.

Absolutely, Zuckerberg responded, saying later in an exchange with Sen.

At the hearing, Zuckerberg said: "We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake".

Many people have voiced concern that Facebook is listening to conversations in order better target advertising on the site. I'm going to suggest to you that you go back home and rewrite it. "What if I don't want to receive those commercial advertisements?"

He outlined steps the company has taken to restrict outsiders' access to people's personal information.