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Mark Zuckerberg: Regulation of social media companies is 'inevitable'

14 April 2018

The following day, there was only one passing mention of Burma. And yet, as the senators grappled with this afternoon, Facebook's entire business model requires it to sink its fangs into users and extract data from them through a number of methods.

Behind the regular Facebook profile you've built for yourself, the company has another one essentially built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users who have shared their contacts. Facebook's evolving terms of service and privacy policies have allowed the network, and third parties and advertisers on the platform, access to all sorts of information about you.

You know those creepy and sometimes seemingly inexplicable friend suggestions Facebook prompts you with - shadow profiles are often behind them.

There is no notification on either site that a Facebook pixel is tracking your activity, but using tools such as Ghostery, a browser plug-in that scans code on sites you visit and alerts you what trackers have been added, makes it easy to determine where a Facebook pixel is installed.

This is what makes Facebook so great: It knows everything about you! Goldman Sachs reported this week that Facebook in particular could see a 7% decline in revenue as a result of the news laws.

While this recent development may have brought forth further doubts regarding Facebook and its user growth and engagement, along with more demand for a GDPR-type of regulation in the USA, we're still confident that the firm is more likely to endure the short-term impact of the data breach issue and at this point don't expect a significant long-term negative effect on Facebook's platform and operations.

In Sri Lanka, alleged inaction by Facebook in the face of the spread of anti-Muslim hate speech even led the government to temporarily block the website in March. If a person clicks on a Facebook ad for a certain shop and later buys an item at that brand's brick-and-mortar store, Facebook will likely find out.

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Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. It included names and email addresses of friends and relatives and at least one "web bug" created to identify him to Facebook's web servers when he opened the email. One of them, Representative Ben Lujan, came down hard on Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg said it would take "many months" to complete an audit of other apps that might also have improperly gathered or shared users' data.

"That goes for fake news, for interference in elections and we didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake and it was my mistake and I'm sorry", the Facebook CEO said.

There was a collective eye roll from educated viewers watching along.

Zuckerberg says he doesn't think Facebook has a monopoly.

According to a transcript of Zuckerberg's appearance before the Senate's Commerce and Judiciary committees, Russian Federation was mentioned 38 times and Cambridge Analytica 72 times on Tuesday. Facebook also owns a VPN called Onavo - that it encourages users to install and which millions have - which monitors its users' internet traffic.

Zuckerberg replied, "No, Congressman".

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At times, including in questioning by Representative Greg Walden on Wednesday, Zuckerberg answered direct questions about Facebook's data harvesting by talking about Facebook's features for choosing who can see a photo or post on Facebook.

Jourova said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should accept the invitation to speak before the European Parliament.

"Thirty-five percent said [they were] using it less than they used to and another 31% changed their settings".

But that's not entirely true. I started Facebook, I run it, and, at the end of the day, I am responsible for what happens here. If you do this, it allows Facebook to tie up your browsing history to your Facebook profile, even if the page you are browsing is New York Times. We've got to change that.

Rep. Debbie Dingell of MI highlighted Facebook's other opaque data gathering techniques that typical Facebook users may be unaware of.

Facebook on Monday said: "Our goals are to understand Facebook's impact on upcoming elections - like Brazil, India, Mexico and the U.S. midterms - and to inform our future product and policy decisions".

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Mark Zuckerberg: Regulation of social media companies is 'inevitable'