Mr.Rush. Mr.Zuckerberg, I only have a few more seconds… In November 2017, ProPublica reported that Facebook was still allowing housing advertisements to systemically exclude advertisements to specific racial groups, an explicitly prohibited practice. This is just one example where Facebook has allowed race to improperly play a role.
What has Facebook done, and what are you going to do to ensure that your targeted advertisements and other components of your platform are in compliance with Federal laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1968?
Mr. Zuckerberg. Congressman, since we learned about that, we removed the option for advertisers to exclude ethnic groups from targeting.
Committee. The American people are concerned about how Facebook protects and profits from its users’ data. In short, does Facebook keep its end of the agreement with its users? How should we as policymakers evaluate and respond to these events?
Does Congress need to clarify whether or not consumers own or have any real power over their online data? Have edge providers grown to the point that they need Federal supervision?
*recalling a dream*
You and your cofounders started a company in your dorm room that has grown to be one of the biggest and most successful businesses in the entire world. Through innovation and quintessentially American entrepreneurial spirit, Facebook and the tech companies that have flourished in Silicon Valley join the legacy of great American companies who build our Nation, drove our economy forward, and created jobs and opportunity. And you did it all without having to ask permission from the Federal Government and with very little regulatory involvement. The company you created disrupted entire industries and has become an integral part of our daily lives. Your success story is an American success story, embodying our shared values of – *recalling another dream* – freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of enterprise.
Facebook also provides jobs for thousands of Americans, including my own congressional district,with data centers in Prineville. Many of our constituents feel a genuine sense of pride and gratitude for what you have created
*all hail the emperor*
and you are rightly considered one of the era’s greatest entrepreneurs.
This unparalleled achievement is why we look to you with a special sense of obligation and hope for deep introspection. While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it may not have matured.
*recalling memories of a world now disappeared*
I think it is time to ask whether Facebook may have moved too fast and broken too many things.
There are critical unanswered questions surrounding Facebook’s business model and the entire digital ecosystem regarding online privacy and consumer protection:
What exactly is Facebook? Social platform? A data company? An advertising company? A media company? A common carrier in the information age? All of the above or something else?
Users trust Facebook with a great deal of information: their name, hometown, email, phone number, photos, private messages, and much, much more. But in many instances, users are not purposely providing Facebook with data. Facebook collects this information while users simply browse other websites, shop online, or use a third-party app.
People are willing to share quite a bit about their lives online based on the belief they can easily navigate and control privacy settings and trust that their personal information is in good hands. If a company fails to keep its promises about how personal data are being used, that breach of trust